Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. 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.
This has been a cornerstone verse in my life. Do you have a cornerstone verse? One that you seem to come back to again and again to inform your faith and guide your walk? This whole section in Philippians does that for me because, like many, I have quite a pile of dirty laundry in my life which I would just assume forget. I try.... and I try again.... yet somehow I keep going around the same mountain. Whether that mountain is worry or a poor choice or a character trait I would really like to overcome in myself such as anger or frustration. Sometimes these points in personality and experience can even cripple our self-perceived ability to minister to others. To share life and really wonder whether we are the one best-qualified to speak into someone else's situation....
But here is Paul. The same Paul who persecuted Christians. The same guy who admits to some mysterious "thorn" he must bear. This guy, whose letters have impacted the world of Christianity so profoundly... he even admitted he fell woefully short.
But he didn't give up.
I doubt he truly forgot his choices of the past, but he had the comfort of a God who does. Who buries our sin and mis-steps so deep they become non-existent when we choose Him over our hangups. With this confidence Paul always seemed to walk, squarely facing forward, striving for that wonderful point beyond. Forgetting the grip of sin and rejoicing in the pull of salvation....
I remember this Paul. I know God washes all that dirty laundry clean. Stains are forgotten. I can keep pushing, keep walking, keep trying and trusting and hoping because I serve a God who KNOWS but chooses to forget all that is not worth accompanying my voyage to heaven.
Before I close though, quick question.... have you humbly brought your sin and shortcomings to God and asked Him to forgive and forget... have you chosen Him over the folly? If you have, walk forward and keep striving, He has you in the palm of His hands!