How many times have you looked at some mistake you made in the past, some situation that went wrong because of bad decisions on your part, and said to yourself, “If only I hadn’t done that!”?
One of the unpalatable truths of life is that “if only I hadn’t” can’t change anything. What’s done is done, and if anyone is hard at work on a time machine that will allow us to go back and change what we did in the past, it hasn’t even made it to beta-test yet.
That’s why I’m so glad that God doesn’t operate on the “if only you hadn’t” principle. He doesn’t give us the ability to go back and change what we did, but He does make it possible for us to put our past in the past:
Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
No matter what our past may have been like, God is calling us to a great future in Christ!
So, don’t let past mistakes continue to haunt you. Repent of your wrong choices (repenting involves confessing the wrong, then turning to a new, godly path), and then put them behind you.
Dealing with the results of past decisions may be a necessary part of your present and future. For example, an unwise sexual relationship can yield consequences that shape your life for the next 18 or 21 years and beyond.
But God already knows all about that. The new future He wants you to press toward already takes those consequences into account. Yet He still plans for you to be “more than conqueror” (Romans 8:37) over anything life can throw at you.
“One thing I do,” says the apostle Paul. “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead…”
I think that’s a great program for being an overcomer in life!