While reading Philippians last week I saw Paul’s journey come alive in a way I had not seen before. I observed Paul giving instructions to leaders based on his life experience. He wasn’t lecturing but he was certainly giving some encouraging news from his own life.
News that I believe we can all resonate with and benefit from. I hope these 5 mindsets encourage and empower you to move forward when you feel trapped by the past or stuck in the present.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14 NLT
I have not achieved it,
Paul understands he is not perfect. He doesn’t beat himself up over it or let shame distract him. He simply realizes that he is on a journey and there is much more that lays ahead.
I focus on this one thing
It’s difficult to think on one thing these days, isn’t it? There are so many things competing for our attention. Multitasking is the habit of the day. Being and remaining focused is a difficult skill to acquire in a world of unlimited distractions yet we are reminded to keep focused with our eyes intently fixed forward on the prize.
Forgetting the past
Living in past failure or success, for that matter, is not a healthy way to live. Someone once said when our memories outnumber our dreams, the end is near. We cant rely on past success or achievement, we must forget the past.
In the same way we must not marinate in our past failures. Our enemy certainly wants us to look back with regret, our heavenly father wants us to look forward with hope! Leaders need to practice selective amnesia on occasion.
looking forward to what lies ahead
One of the best ways to practice selective amnesia is to look ahead. Looking forward with anticipation of what could be, what will be! Looking forward to how God will show up today or tomorrow. Looking forward with hopeful anticipation of how God will use my past to shape my future.
Looking forward to what lies ahead is not without difficulty. We may feel emotionally, mentally, or spiritually beat up but we must effort to believe that God has something for us in the future. God is always up to something in our lives and I know it’s worth looking forward to.
I press on to reach the end of the race
Sometimes I have to talk myself into moving forward and there are days when three steps forward and two steps back are welcomed improvements! Life is filled with discouragements and disappointments but we choose to leave those in the past. It’s not that we completely forget them because God uses the difficulty in our past to develop our future.
Sometimes it is necessary for leaders to be stubborn and strong willed just to keep moving. As Brad Pitt’s character in World War Z says, “Movement is life!” How true that statement is. Pressing on may not be easy, in fact, it rarely is. However, pressing on suggests movement and movement is life.
Photo Credit: CCL Martez Hawkins. Adapted From 6iee.com/322973.html