A Time For Forgetting

The New Year should be a time for forgetting.  If we are to accomplish anything of value in the days ahead, we must cultivate the art of forgetting.  Certain things must be laid to rest in the past before we are ready for the future.  Paul recognized this when he wrote:  “Forgetting those things which are behind…I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:13-14.)

What are some of the things we must forget in order to make a success of the Christian life?

1) OUR SETBACKS.  We are too prone to brood over our losses — especially our financial and material losses.  But Jesus taught that the only loss which we should truly fear is the loss of the soul!  (Matthew 16.26.)  Losing friends or health, or job, or property, or position will seem like minor inconveniences if we are able to gain Christ!  (Philippians 3:8)

2) OUR SLIGHTS.  We must not dwell on our grievances and injuries.  Indwelling hate colors a man’s whole perspective on life.  There is not much room for anything else in a heart filled up with resentment.  “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”  (Ephesians 4:26)

3) OUR SUCCESSES.  Many a good man has been ruined by success.  Saul of Gibeah was a noble man until he was elected king of Israel and then his life turned to tragedy.  “For I say to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…”  (Romans 12:3)  Let us remember that without the mercy of God we could do nothing, have nothing, be nothing.

4) OUR SORROWS.  We must not allow our sorrows to imprison us in the past.  As one old preacher used to say:  “We must look for life’s pearls.”  “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  (Romans 8:18)

5) OUR SINS.  We must not allow our sins to defeat us.  We can put them behind us.  Sin can be cleansed from our lives.  The blood of Christ is more potent than the disease which afflicts us.  Let us, therefore, “lay aside…the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”  (Hebrews 12:1)

God grant you both the wisdom to determine what needs to be forgotten and the resolution to do it in the coming year!

Bobby Dockery

Fayetteville, Arkansas

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