Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:12-14 ESV
Paul isn’t just referring to our own past when he tells us to forget what lies behind in this verse, he’s also telling not to look at the past sins of others. When we have been deeply hurt by our spouse’s sin, it can be so difficult to move past the offense and truly forgive, but that’s exactly what God calls us to do. Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. We forgive and we leave the sin in the past.
None of us are perfect. We are all broken people with broken hearts, living in a broken world. None of it works the way God intended—our world, our hearts, our marriages. Our own selfishness injures our spouse on a very regular basis, and their self-focus will break our hearts. Our response to that brokenness is going to determine how close we get to the goal Paul references—that response is determined by our view of this world.
It begins with recognizing we are all broken people. Those of us who are believers have the power of the Holy Spirit and are being transformed into the image of Christ—we’re not there yet. If we stay in our own self-righteous hearts, believing our spouses should have to adhere to the standard of perfection in their lives, while we get to continue to make mistakes and be transformed, we are not going to experience His blessings.
God is working on all those who believe at a different rate. If your spouse is a believer, you can bet that God is working on their hearts to reveal their sin to them, and He is using the very incident that caused you pain to do it. You may not see it or know it, but if they are a believer in Christ, they are being transformed—just as you are.
If they are not a believer, they are blind to their sin. They don’t even recognize it, and they often don’t have an understanding of the pain they have caused. But God wants to see that person come to know Him because scripture tells us that’s His desire for all people. And if you’re on God’s team, that should be your ultimate desire. Pray for their salvation so that they can see their sin.
Your perspective of the person will determine your ability to leave the offense in the past. Take your hurt to God and ask Him to reveal to you His perspective of that person you’re struggling to forgive. He has such blessings for us when we leave the past behind us.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗