Sometimes we have a hard time remembering names, but we never forget when someone does us wrong. The apostle Paul, as Saul of Tarsus, persecuted the Christians by having them put in prison and some he put to death. After becoming a Christian, he certainly wanted to forget the horrible things he had done. One thing that "haunted" Paul about his past related to the stoning of Stephen. Paul consented to and watched Stephen die while being in charge of the outer garments of those who stoned this man. He heard Stephen's last words, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." Paul said, "Forgetting the past I press forward." He is saying, "I will not allow my past to keep me from becoming the person God wants me to be today."
How does one become the person God wants him/her to be? First comes a new relationship with God through faith in Christ Jesus. Paul had that encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. It is referred to by Jesus as the "New birth experience."
Then comes the growing and maturing part. Spending time with the Lord on a daily basis enables us to mature in our faith. We speak to the Lord in prayer and He speaks to us through His Word, the Scripture.
As we continue to grow in that relationship, it becomes easier to forget the "ugliness" we know about others. It also becomes easier to put behind us the "ungodly" things of our own past. In order to have the inner strength and insight to live godly in both regular and crisis moments, we need to devote ourselves to the practices that enable us to draw closer to our Lord. He will continually transform us inwardly, in thought, emotion, and will.
Reflect on the depth of your relationship with God.
Evaluate your inner self and how Christ-like it is.
Commit time for practices that will transform you and make you stronger.