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The apostle Paul wrote: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3;13,14)

Much emphasis in recent years has been placed upon a good memory. To be sure, there is great value in having a good memory.

But of equal value is the ability to forget. Your success will be directly related to your skill in forgetting the following:

n Past successes. Glorying in past accomplishments can only lead to a fruitless future. Don’t be a diary and scrapbook worshiper.

n Past failures. A morbid memory of past mistakes, sins and failures causes fear of the future. Seek forgiveness of sins; learn from past mistakes to avoid repeating them. Then forget them and forge ahead.

n Past injuries. If you lug into the future your resentments, hatreds, frustrations and disappointments, it will soon wear you out. Don’t permit your life to be controlled by constant thought of another’s mistreatment of you.

The future does not belong to you so long as you are shackled by the past. Whatever contribution you make to the world will be dependent upon your ability to forget the past.

Eddie Cooper is a retired minister

from the Washington Street Church of Christ, in St. Albans.

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