Don’t let the past hold you back

By Steve Greene

What is holding you back from being the person God is calling you to be? What held you back last year? What has been holding you back for years? Are you willing to get rid of whatever it is in order to achieve your personal goals this year?

The Apostle Paul wanted to forget his past. He had plenty of reasons to want to do that. We’re probably in the same boat. Like Paul, we have all done things that we are ashamed of, and now, we live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be.

Because our hope is in Christ, we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. Don’t allow yourself to dwell on your past. Instead, you can decide right now that in 2017, you will grow more and more in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with Him today.

Realize that you are forgiven, and then move on to a life of faith and obedience in the here and now. You can look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of your hope in Christ.

We’ve seen that Paul’s methods for reaching a goal included an intentional decision to forget the past, and then resolve to press on toward what is ahead. Develop a plan and stick to it. Then decide that you won’t give up no matter what.

Paul said, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) If we are going to press on toward new goals and new commitments this year, here are some things to remember…

First, take your time. You probably can’t work on changing everything all at once. If there are 15 things you want to work on, prioritize them and understand that progress may be slow. You don’t have to tackle everything all at once.

Next, focus on the few. It’s better to work on a few things and succeed than trying to work on everything all at once only to accomplish very little or nothing at all.

Then, strive for daily improvement. Steady, incremental improvement will result in significant long-term growth. Your goal is about getting better. It is about growth.

Our goal is to grow more and more in the likeness and image of Jesus Christ. If you fall, get up immediately. You don’t have to wait until next January to start over.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at or you can email him at