In a recent article for Pastors.com, Rick Warren talks about four ways the apostle Paul prepared his own life for successful ministry. One of those steps was to let go of his past:
“As pastors, we need to stop being manipulated by our past mistakes and failures. Paul says in verse 13, “This one thing I do, forgetting what is behind.” Paul knows that to be all that God wants him to be, he can’t focus on yesterday. Yesterday is over. You and I must let go of our guilt, grief and grudges. We must let go of the past, so we can get on with the present.
“To forget actually means to not allow the past to affect you anymore. Successful people (whether they’re pastors or not) learn from the past without dwelling on it. There’s a big difference. They don’t keep hounding themselves about the past.
“Many of us are harboring things in our hearts that God has long since forgiven and forgotten. Yet we won’t forgive ourselves. Satan’s favorite tool is to paralyze us with the past and manipulate us with memories.
“You don’t want to hang on to past successes either. It’s pretty easy to rest on your laurels and base your security on past performance. This is even true of churches. How many churches out there are still resting on what God did through them 30 years ago or 50 years ago? ‘The good old days’ are over. Let them go.” (Click here to read the full article.)