Philippians 3:7

I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead (v.13).

The river bulkhead where the Augusta Canal and
Savannah River meet is one of the most scenic
places to go in our hometown. Swirling in giant
eddies, the canal moves from placid to turbulent as it
flows against the foundation of the canal works. One
day as a friend and I took our children walking there, I
tossed a rock into the waters’ flow. Overwhelmed with
the heaviness of life, letting the rock go was a symbolic
way for me to leave the past behind and take hold of
current hope.

Forgiveness is such a precious gift from God—
something on which our very life depends—and yet we
often struggle to extend this gift to others. When we’ve
been wronged, we hold on to our offense in hope that
those who have hurt us will realize the error of their
ways. It’s almost as if a part of us believes that our
concerns will not be heard if we release them to God.
Validation is a powerful need within the human spirit.
But apart from Jesus, any other validation is fleeting. Paul
maintained that nothing could compare with being in
Christ and that no credential outside of the cross really
mattered (Philippians 3:7-9). Jesus died on the cross to
identify with our human suffering (2:6-8). Why then do
we try to find communion with Him apart from laying
everything down at the foot of the cross—including our
deepest hurts?

The question isn’t whether offenses will come, but how we respond when they
do (Matthew 5:11-12). God isn’t asking us not to seek genuine repentance from
those who have hurt us—allowing for true forgiveness to be extended. But He is
asking us to let go of what’s past in order to take hold of what lies ahead.
—Regina Franklin


Read Psalms 73:1to see how we should view our struggles in light of God’s
guiding presence.

Who are you struggling to forgive? What “rock” do you need to throw
into the water in order to forget what is past? How is God’s command
to forgive someone a reflection of what He’s done for you?