Volume XIII Issue III Editor’s Corner

My section for the latest issue.

The Way We Were is one of my favorite movies. In the movie, Katie and Hubbell are an ill-fitted couple who take many chances at being together despite having very little in common. One of the reasons they were so on and off again is that when they remembered their past relationship, they remembered it with rose-colored glasses. They remembered the good times and the laughter, but they edited out the painful and challenging parts of their relationship.

In general, I think it’s easy to look at the past with longing and happy thoughts while editing things that were unpleasant out of our memories. In this way, a known edited past becomes easier to digest than an unknown future. But we need to look and reach forward.

A familiar passage about reaching forward is found in Philippians 3:12-14. It reads, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 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, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

In the like, in Isaiah 43:18-19, the Bible says, “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

God wants to do a new thing in each of us. But how can He do a new thing when we are constantly looking to the past with longing? How can He do a new thing when we can’t let go of the hurt and pain of yesterday? There is nothing in your past that is worth going back to get. There is nothing gained by continuing to nurse old wounds. The constant looking back is like a dog who returns to its vomit or a sow who returns to the mire after washing herself.

There is a danger in looking back. Look at the example of Lot’s wife. God was trying to take her and her family to a better place and a better future, yet she looked back. I invite you to look and reach forward for whatever God has in front of you. The best days of your life and ministry are in front of you. There is nothing better behind. God’s plan is to give you a future and hope, not to keep you imprisoned in your past.

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Volume XIII, Issue III Word of the Quarter

Word of the Quarter from the July Issue of the PCC Scroll. The editing team did not have time to meet, so I swung it solo.

The theme of this issue’s PCC Scroll is “Reaching Forward.” One of the most familiar scriptures about reaching forward is found in Philippians 3:12-14.

We are all works in progress. Regardless of our pasts or what our futures may hold, we are continuously being perfected. And we will continue to be perfected until the end of our days. Paul is a great example. When he wrote the letter to the Philippian church, he had already accomplished a lot. But he was humble about his achievements because he knew there would always be more work to be done. He was also able to accept the imperfections in his past because he was constantly striving to reach his call and destiny in Christ. He was reaching forward.

It is easy to reach back and dwell on the past. In this state, you continue to beat yourself up and punish yourself over past mistakes, sins, disappointments, and failures. This doesn’t do anything but make you feel bad about yourself. Truthfully, we all make mistakes every day, but they should become learning experience as we continue to reach forward for our prize

And it’s easy to constantly condemn people for their past mistakes, sins, disappointments, and failures against us, but this doesn’t do anything either. Continuing to pick at scabs and old wounds just interferes with the healing process. It holds the offender a prisoner to their past, and it holds us a prisoner to our pain.

In all honesty, what good does dwelling on the past do? It won’t change anything. Forgetting the things behind and reaching forward is a choice we have to intentionally, continuously make. We can continue to let the voices of condemnation and ridicule hold us anchored and chained to the past, or we can reach forward to the future with the confidence that any mistake, sin, disappointment, or failure will work out for our good. We can believe the Word of God when it tells us there is therefore now no condemnation for us.

Do you have a past filled with mistakes, sins, disappointments, and failures? You are in good company. David was an adulterer who put the woman’s husband in the front lines of battle. Paul was responsible for the persecution and killing of Christians. Jeremiah struggled with depression and doubt. Despite their mistakes, sins, disappointments, and failures, they loved and trusted God. They did not get stuck in their mistakes, sins, disappointments, and failures. They looked and reached forward and did great works for God.

It’s cliché, but, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life!” You can forget those things which are behind and reach forward to your destiny in Christ. Whatever lies before you is much better than what you leave behind. You can face the future with this confidence in Christ.