Past or Future

Which is better, to focus on the past or to focus on the future? If we focus on the past we get frustrated with present as we “remember the good old days” and fear the future lest history repeat itself. If we focus on future, and forget the past, our best intentions will repeat past mistakes.   Augustine (an African Christian) once wrote,

“Memory looks back, intention forward; the one must be knit to the other,”   (City of God 7:7).

The Bible too calls us to knit together our  history with Christ with our intentions for the future.

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above   (Col 3:1)

Our resurrection with Christ changes what we look for in the future. We no longer make decisions as though this were the only life we have.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.   (Romans 12:1)

Knowing God’s past mercies, we live day by day for him not us.

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention

(1 Peter 4:1)

As Christ suffered for us, we too are prepared to give of ourselves for others that they gain eternity.  Sometimes we, like the apostle Paul, have to forget our past without Christ, to move forward in Christ.

this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.  (Phil 3:13-14)

Denis Oliver