God does not want us to look back with desirous eyes for our former way of life. Nor, does he want for us to play what if’s in our minds regarding our past. “If I had done this or that, my life would be much better…man, if I had only married her, I certainly would not have been in my current toxic marriage raising entitled, spoiled brat kids…if I had not made such a poor business decision, I would not be buried in debt…If I had not been in the wrong place at the wrong time, where would I be now? I am so bitter regarding the accident that was not my fault…if I had been born into a better or easygoing family without all the drama, my life would be so different…”and on and on we go. Looking back puts on us a merry-go-round of frustration leading to anger, bitterness, hurt, fear, uncertainty, doubt, self-centeredness and/or unquieted lusts.
Paul the Apostle had so much to live for before he got saved. He was at the top of the leadership hierarchy of the Hebrew nations, enormously well respected, very ambitious, ultra-successful, famous and highly educated…what a future ahead of him! Yet, he gave up that lifestyle choosing a life serving Christ as his Lord and Savior experiencing such things as “great endurance, afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger” (1 Corinthians 6:4b&5).
Then, Paul makes this unbelievable proclamation in Philippians 3, “8 I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Don’t look back! Count the things that we had or experienced as rubbish. Heed Paul’s words. Determine within your heart to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”