In someone’s church bulletin I read the following. "Do you know why a car’s windshield is so large and the rear view mirror so small? Your past is not as important as your future." I’m not sure if that is the reason for the disparity of the window and the mirror, but the idea is true. It is also one that is taught in Scripture.
Sometimes we get so caught up with our past that we do not see any future. There may be someone reading this that thinks, "My past has been so bad that there is no way God could ever love me." I have talked to people who have this mistaken idea. It is a tool that Satan uses to discourage us from following God. He has many people believing this is true. Please understand this is not true.
All of us have things in our past that we wish were not there. We have every one sinned and fallen short of what our God expects. Fortunately, He is a God who will forgive ANY transgression no matter how horrendous it may seem to us and to others.
Consider if you would, Saul of Tarsus. He lived a life that was totally opposed to Jesus. He was instrumental in having those who trusted in Jesus as Lord being arrested and put to death. He was even present and consenting to, agreeing with, the men who stoned the life out of the disciple Stephen (Acts 7:58-59).
Later we see him as he is working to destroy the church. He enters homes and has people taken to their deaths. Can you just imagine what it was like when Jesus appeared to him and he discovered he had been destroying God’s people? Saul of Tarsus (Paul the apostle), a murderer.
Now let’s look at Philippians 3:13, "...But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead," (ESV) Paul had a lot going on in his past that we would consider bad. And yet look at the way our God used this servant. Paul put the past behind him so he could live in the future.
In another passage Paul could say, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom 5:1) Paul was at peace? Yes! Because the past doesn’t matter. When we submit ourselves to God and obey His word, we can live in the future and not the past.
Someone may say, "But I can’t forget the past." True, you can’t. You will always remember what happened—good and bad. But you can make a choice to follow God and leave the past where it is—past. You can also use it to realize that you made a mistake and you don’t want to go there again. Learn from your mistakes.
Let’s live for today and leave the past behind. You will be much happier that you did.