The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
The word mind is not used in this verse, but make no doubt, forgetting things that are behind is a matter of the mind. Paul wrote these words to the saints in the church at Philippi. If there was ever a man in ministry that had to remember to forget some things it was Paul.
Before he had his name changed to Paul, he was Saul. He persecuted believers in Christ with a vengeance beating some, putting some in prison, and even putting some to death. It was Saul that held the coats of the men who stoned Stephen to death simply for preaching about Christ. No doubt there were other things in the life of this man that he had to constantly remember to forget. He said of this effort…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. His “one thing” had two parts that made up the whole. He forgot, and he remembered. He remembered to forget some things, yet did not forget to remember the things before him, reaching unto them.
This is where some fail. In coping with the past things, they forget the future things. God had a future for Paul, God had plans for him, and in order for the disciple to do that which God desired for him to do he had to forget and remember at the same time. Consider this. A coffee cup cannot be filled with yesterday’s coffee and today’s coffee. If the cup is to be filled with fresh coffee today it must be emptied of yesterday’s coffee. If yesterday only a portion, let’s say half, of the coffee in the cup was consumed, and if that half of a cup of yesterday’s coffee is still in the cup today, and if fresh coffee (today’s coffee) is poured into the cup what do you have? An awful mixture of day-old coffee with fresh coffee, of cold coffee with hot coffee, of possibly stale and perhaps polluted coffee with good safe coffee. The fresh coffee does not improve the old, the old coffee contaminates the new. It is the same with memories and reaching forth. Forgetting the past and reaching forth to the things before us are not harmonious. One always replaces the other. Past things are forgotten by reaching forth (remembering) things before us. Things before us can be spoiled by not forgetting the past. One always overcomes the other.
By example, God allowed Paul to write about this “one thing I do” so we may have an edge on dealing with the past (forgetting) and reaching unto the things before. Every believer in Christ would do well to learn from his example. Deal with the past by forgetting it and by reaching forth to the things before. Those things before are simply put…the victorious life in Christ filled with good works, and wonderful promises from our loving Father in Heaven.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.