Whenever I hear someone whom I respect start to talk about the secret to their success, particularly “the one thing” they attribute it to, I listen up. It’s interesting to compare what they say to what the apostle Paul, who wrote about half of the books of the New Testament, said was his secret: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Philippians 3:13). He was saying, “The most important thing that has helped me to be successful is to let go of the things that are behind me. I don’t look back. I don’;t go back to my past mistakes and relive my failures.”
If you’ve ever played racquetball, you know that it’s a fast game that’s played with a hollow rubber ball and racquet in a fully enclosed court. The one safety rule to this game is that you never look back because the ball comes off the back wall so fast that it can smack you in the face and cause significant injury. It’s wise to wear eyeguards even if you don’t look back. Racquetball, like life, is a forward-facing game. To look back at your past mistakes and relive your failures will only cause damage. To dwell on the past can ruin your relationships, lower your self-esteem, and knock the confidence right out of you. To live in the “I wish I had done it differently” or “Why did this happen?” will smack you in the face and cause you to have nothing but distress.
The Bible says that God will take what the enemy meant for evil in your past and turn it around and use it to your advantage. God has a plan for your past, but He can’t work in your past because He works in the now. If there’s anything from your past that’s keeping you from your dreams, call out to God and ask Him to help you move past it. David says, “In my distress I called upon the Lord…and my cry came before Him, even to His ears… He brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me” (Psalm 18:6, 19). He will bring you into a broad place because He delights in you!
So I encourage you to not allow your past to cause you injury today. Do what the apostle Paul did: Don’t look back! Let the past be behind you. Don’t look back for someone to blame or ask why something happened to you. Reach forward to those things that are ahead of you. That’s where your success lies!