There is a temptation we all face at the end of one year and the beginning of another. We are tempted to set goals we cannot achieve. Instead of them being attainable and measurable goals they are more like hopes, wishes, and dreams.
I mean how many times have you entered the new year promising God and yourself you will not look at porn in the New Year? How many times have you told yourself that this year is going to be the year you are going to get in shape, lose weight, and eat a healthy diet.
Here are some of the Bizarre New Year’s Resolutions made on Twitter…
1. Got lost without any help from Siri
2. Check facts before sharing on Social Media
3. Stop kids from eating dirt
4. Stop procrastinating…but not today
5. Always leave one potato chip
Instead of recommending any goals you should set for yourself for 2022…let’s first take a lesson from the Apostle Paul before the year ends. In Philippians 3:13-16…
“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Many of us are living in the darkness and pain of what has happened in our past. Now, remember this is Paul speaking who in writing to Timothy claimed to be the worst sinner that has ever lived. He orchestrated the stoning to death of Stephen and excelled in finding Christians, putting them in prison, and having them beaten.
He claims in Romans 7 to have struggled with committing every form of covetousness and cried out to God because he was a wretched man…but then give thanks to God through Jesus Christ for delivering him from his own wretchedness. So, he too struggled with lust which is part of coveting.
He was not a man proud of his accomplishment in life. Even though he excelled in being a Pharisee, top of his class, a Hebrew of Hebrews…yet he says that all the accomplishments he considered as dung, manure, a pile of crap.
And here is something very important for us to learn and do…forgetting what lies behind. Now, this is not something we should completely do immediately. If we have done things in our past that need to be dealt with or things for which we need to make amends we need to do that. If we have caused others to suffer or others have done things to us to cause us to suffer those are good things to talk with a therapist about…taking actions of asking for forgiveness and then moving on.
There is damage that we have caused that we can never repair but telling the truth and asking for forgiveness is needed before some things should be forgotten. And forgiving others for what they have done to us is also important.
What we should not be doing is living in the past and beating ourselves up over the sins and failures of our past. After 16 years I still find myself being tempted to do this even though I have done what I needed to do regarding my wife and kids. If I hope that they have forgiven me which I believe they have…then I need to forgive myself and that is like playing whack-a-mole. And even if they are not able to forgive me when I have asked…that is not something I can fix and beating myself up over it accomplishes nothing good.
However, there is another part of this passage that we need to be doing if we are really going to be forgetting what lies behind us…and that is…
“…straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on…”
It is this act of pressing on which is critical for our recovery to be growing more mature. In fact, this is what Paul writes next in the passage.
“Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
So, I want to end this year in that fashion. Forgetting what lies behind and that I cannot change and pressing on to whatever God has for me in this life. And I am so completely thankful that He has allowed me to press on with purpose and that purpose is helping every person I can recover from their sexual brokenness and find community with others where there is no condemnation, and we can strong together in 2022.
BTW – I am 2/3 of the way through creating a new series of videos called Pressing On with Purpose and hope to have that available to every by Spring of next year.
God’s blessing on everyone and let us continue to help one another walk in purity and stand strong in the strength of His mighty power.