“Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,…”
Do we let ourselves be trapped by our past? Or do we completely forget the past & press on forward?
So much misinterpretation has colored the above verse. I do not think Paul tells the readers to “forget the past” in the above verse, because how would it be consistent to his message to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:15-16? Paul is still referring to his past, with a gospel-covered perspective.
But is “clingy”-ness justified? Honestly, that depends on the object of what the subject is “clingy” towards. Depending on the circumstance, the subject could be idolizing whatever he clings to.
[Also, I personally don’t like the word “clingy”, as it already implies & paints a negative view towards the subject when in reality, the subject may not have done anything wrong to begin with. But for sake of simplicity, i’m going to stop.]
Okay. Don’t trap yourself in the past to the clinging point.
But do we completely abandon the past and pretend it never happened? Live our lives in goldfish moments, with perpetual amnesia to anything from the past because “I just forget everything that happened before”?
No. That’s being foolish.
Psalm 78 is a beautiful psalm that describes what has happened in the past; the perspective is clear, as you read it. And does not Romans 15:4 say that whatever was written in the past was written for us to learn & be encouraged?
Even the Word of God follows the pattern of introspection, in regards to looking at the past!
He has put much thought into every single thing that has happened before, that is happening, and that will happen!
We have the past as reference to learned lessons & reminders of God’s blessings. But we live in the present and the future is where we hope. The hope we have in Jesus Christ is an ACTIVE hope that has EFFECT in the PRESENT. [ref 1 Peter 1:23, 1 Peter 1:4, Hebrews 6:11, Hebrews 10:23]
Since our imperishable hope in Christ affects us in the present reality, it shapes our perspective of the past.