The past is... by Gary Rose


How does one actually stumble over something behind you? For if something is truly behind you it is not in front of you ( that you may stumble over it ). Now, there may some clever person out there who may answer; “you moonwalk”. Ignore such a one for that person is just practicing STUPIDITY.

The answer to the first sentence is that you keep putting the past in the forefront of your mind- you re-live it. The truth is that many people do this sort of thing -ALL THE TIME. They need to learn to put the past in the past.

When a person becomes a Christian, the past life is over. He or she has become a new person, with a new master – Christ. The goal of living becomes a dedication to serving ( and therefore, pleasing ) Jesus. When I think of this, I remember the Apostle Paul’s comments of Philippians chapter three...

Philippians 3 ( World English Bible )

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not tiresome, but for you it is safe.

2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.

3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh;

4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I yet more:

5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;

6 concerning zeal, persecuting the assembly; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.

7 However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ.

8 Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ

9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death;

11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul emphasizes putting the past where it should always be kept – IN THE PAST. Some verses of the above passage seem to emphasize this more than others, so I have made their verse designation red in color for you to reflect upon.

The truth is that one can only stumble over the past by putting it in front of you. If you are doing that, stop! Put Christ in front of you and forget the past. I can only tell you that I agonize over decisions for some time ( perhaps, even too long ), but once I make a decision I live with it. I hope you can say the same!