We all have problems with forgetting from time to time. Who among us hasn’t come back from the pantry, proud to have remembered what we went there for, and then dismayed to have forgotten why we wanted it! OK, maybe that’s just me! In any case, there are definite things the Bible tells us to forget!
Paul is saying that to make any progress in our Christian growth, we are to FORGET what is behind. I always assumed, knowing Paul’s past to be one of persecution for the Church, that he meant his past sins. However, the context of the passage speaks of his Jewish lineage, his zeal and his righteousness. He counted his religiosity and good works as rubbish in order to know Christ and have the righteousness which comes from faith in Him.
What does this mean for me? Do I pride myself in past accomplishments in the realm of good works? Am I on “cruise control” in my spiritual journey, thinking what I’ve already done for the Lord somehow can carry me along? Or am I motivated to keep on keeping on? Any spiritual pride or SELF righteousness will keep me from moving forward. Better to forget even the good things in my past if they cause me to be complacent in the present!