Below is Chris Underwood’s “Encouragement Note” for April. Chris is a Christian from Chicago IL.
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” ―Johnny Cash
Philippians 3:13-14 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.
Some businesses have entire departments responsible to deliver “Lessons Learned” training in an effort to bring awareness and compliance to their workforce. We may call it learning from your mistakes, whether the work is hospital surgery, drugstore prescriptions, or packing a parachute for one hundred people where it is not acceptable to have 99% success rate (think about that next time you have surgery, pick up a prescription or jump out of a plane).
Mistakes can be fatal, even when people do their work in good conscience. The memory of acting in good conscience and committing sin may lead to a lifetime of regrets, anguish and worry that can cause us to be “stuck” in the mud, and fail to move forward.
The man Saul (Acts chapters 7 and 8) knew that he wanted to obey God. Saul’s conscience and training led him to believe and act in good conscience, though the efforts resulted in imprisonments and worse for many Christians (Philippians 3:5-6). The transformation from Saul to Paul took place through the grace of God.
In the same manner, each of us has a past history and present life of sin, that we could dwell on to hold us back from the grace of God, or we can use the knowledge and wisdom to accept forgiveness granted us through Jesus Christ.
We know Paul remembered his former life, but when it came to doing the Lord’s work, he had to forget in order to be effective and probably to forgive himself a little more one day at a time.
Decide today to deliver at least one more memory burden to the Lord you are carrying that restricts or delays your life with God.
Think of it as a calculated step in obedience where you remember enough not to repeat, and forgetting enough to be effective for God (James 1:23-25). “I am what I am” may be a true statement but it does not mean you and I have to remain unchanged.
1 Corinthians 15:9-10 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Have a great day.
James 1:23-25 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.