Forgetting Those Things Which Are Behind


One of the most tenacious of the wrong thoughts that cling to mankind and cause much suffering is the belief in an unhappy past. An undue regard for the past leads one to forget the present, which is his only real concern.

On page 224 of Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy says, “As the crude footprints of the past disappear from the dissolving paths of the present, we shall better understand the Science which governs these changes, and shall plant our feet on firmer ground.”

In Acts, we read of the wonderful conversion of Saul to Christianity and his splendid missionary work. In his zealous persecution of the Christians before his conversion, he had burdened himself with memories and guilt. Nevertheless, he was able to pierce the mass of sorrow and doubt, as is indicated by his words to the Philippians, “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.”

We know that his forgetting was no light-minded disregard of difficulties, but a scientific laying aside of that which he knew to be of no avail, in order that his whole attention might be devoted to the great work in which he was engaged.

We must detach thought from the dead past and use the opportunity of the present hour. It means we are to work with God in all that we undertake. As we begin the work of “forgetting,” as St. Paul did, divine Love will guide us as he was guided. To work, to think, in the present, was undoubtedly Paul’s method of accomplishment.

As we go about our lives, we find no time for negative thoughts, and the seemingly fateful past vanishes from our consciousness. The good that was ours in the past is ours now, and always has been ours, for good is God, and the evil, the sorrow, the sin, the sickness and the heavy burden never existed, except as false beliefs. As our textbook says, “We must forsake the mortal sense of things, turn from the lie of false belief to Truth, and gather the facts of being from the divine Mind.”

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