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Taking responsibility 3

'Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.' Philippians 3:13 NIV

Whatever our past has been, God has a better future in mind for us. But, too often we hold onto bitterness, hurt and disappointment. We keep replaying the bad things that have happened to us, or the mistakes we've made. We prevent ourselves from moving into the good.

In order to move forward we may need to forgive the people who've hurt us. We could feel they don't deserve our forgiveness, or that forgiving them somehow excuses what they did. The truth is, forgiveness sets us free. It cuts the emotional tie between us and the people who've hurt us. It removes the heavy baggage we're carrying around. God sees and knows what's happened to us. We can give it all over to him and find peace and freedom in forgiveness. 'Forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ' (Ephesians 4:32 NCV). This includes forgiving ourselves for things we've done, and refusing to beat ourselves up about the things we've done, or haven't done. God doesn't want us to live like that!

The Bible says: 'God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing' (Ephesians 2:10 NCV). Stepping forward into those plans requires us to let go of what holds us back, and instead strain towards what's ahead.

So what now? Spend time forgiving those who've hurt you and forgiving yourself for any mistakes you've made. Then ask God to show you his plans for your future.

Soulfood: Heb 5-8 Mark 6:30-44 Ps 18:30-50 Pro 11:22,

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