Making bad decisions suck! It is bad enough to deal with the practical fallout from these decisions. They could be a period of lack of self-care or financial responsibility, how you have mistreated a spouse, or how you haven't developed more than an elementary relationship with God. Whether consciously or unconsciously, these decisions take such a toll on our heart and soul at times. The especially painful ones are when you think you are doing something good and it turns out that your plan failed. The drag on our souls is tangible. Sorrow moves in and wants to set up camp until his friends' depression and self-degradation come to camp with him. There is nothing wrong with being sorrowful. Godly sorrow moves us in the right direction. Yet, if you find yourself at times circling the drain with the Tidybowl man, it is time to reach out to God for some joy.
Philippians 3:13 (NIV84)
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
To forget is not to pay attention to something. It means to neglect it and act as though it didn't happen. That isn't easy! The Holy Spirit is saying to us to focus on something else rather than the past. It is more than focus. It is using intense effort. The kind of effort that requisites all that is in you. Using that effort, we are supposed to look forward. That is life! That is setting ourselves up for joy. There is something in front of you that needs all your attention. Let's give our attention to that! We are bogged down by looking at past mistakes, bad decisions, and sinful actions. It is not like we can't learn from them, repent from them, or be healed from them, but if we keep looking at the past, we will be hampered from looking ahead to what God has put in front of us.
God has put so many good things in front of us. The promises throughout the Word as well as His personalized promises to us. He has called us to a destiny that needs our attention and intense effort to attain. Some relationships will improve, financial situations will correct, and your life of discipline and wisdom will bring such joy. The Creator of the universe wants to talk with us every morning of every day and throughout the day and night. Whatever you haven't done or have done that you wished you hadn't done, put it behind you right now. Use the finite amount of energy you have to go after God. Go after what is in front of you and leave the past in the past.