MATURE MEN DO THIS!
Philippians 3:12-15 NIV
Not that I have already obtained all of this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Jesus Christ took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Jesus Christ. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.
I cannot begin to express how significant and life-changing this passage of scripture has been to my life and my marriage. As a younger man in my 20’s, I spent too many hours of my life obsessing over my failures, my shortcomings, my sins, and my mistakes. How much heartache and discouragement was mine, because of my immaturity, my lack of understanding and applying this life-altering truth, made known to us by the Apostle Paul.
I am a perfectionist in so many ways, and had beat myself to a bloody pulp over my failings, and imperfections. What’s more, in our earlier years, I also did this in my marriage. I just could not, would not let a thing go. I took it to bed with me, into the next day with me, I let the tensions, failings or conflicts between Kathy and I weigh on me, and let them burden my spirit and my soul, instead of forgetting about them, forgiving them, and simply straining forward, pressing on to be the man, husband and couple, God called me and us to be.
How many days in the past I wasted as I kept my wife’s failings under the microscope of my mind, looking at them for hours, instead of being mature, obeying this verse, and doing this one thing: Forgetting what lies behind and straining toward what lies ahead! When is a thing behind? When is a thing past? A day? An hour? A minute?
This passage reveals a tremendous spiritual secret of the Apostle Paul and of a mature Christian. We realize we are under God’s grace, the gospel of grace, not the exacting, crushing, weight of the law of perfection!
Friends, this had been a great secret for me, that not many know, understand or live out. What a joy to have the permission of God to forget what lies behind about yourself or your spouse, to instead simply look ahead, pressing on to all God has for you, and not waste any more time bemoaning and obsessing over your failures, or your spouse’s shortcomings.
Recently, my wife and I had one of those very difficult evenings. Without going into the details, it was just a big fail. (Yes, even after almost 42 years of marriage, we still fail!) There was much emotion and it was the kind of thing that as a younger couple, truthfully would have weighed on us for days. It would have sapped our strength, and been a bit funeral like the next day. Before I went to bed, I wrote a short email to my wife, that said, I WAS WRONG. I then wrote a little more, asking for her forgiveness. I went to bed and as I lay there, I prayed that God would give Kathy the gift of forgetfulness, that he would renew her strength and that the next day we would determine to live as though that evening had never happened.
We did indeed do just that. That is in fact how the mature live! We forget what lies behind, and live today as we really desire to deep in our hearts, to be more like Christ, striving to be the person, the man, God made us to be.
So my friends, today, Be Mature! Forget what lies behind, and press on, without the burden of the past failings weighing you down, striving to be more like Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:17 NIV
Then He adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more!” – God
My friends, If God won’t remember your sins and failings anymore, WHY ARE YOU?
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling