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. Philippians 3:13
Paul had to make a decision to put his past behind him regardless of whether other people chose to forget his past or not in order to move forward! The word "I" is EXTREMELY important in Philippians 3:13. In each of our lives, we must consciously make a decision to forget our past! Notice that Paul did not say that this one thing "the church does" or even "my family does" but "I do."
Paul had a lot to forget about after all. Remember that the Bible recalls that when Stephen was stoned, the witnesses to the stoning "laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul" (Acts 7:58). Saul, who would later be called Paul, was there to help persecute Believers and witness the stoning. Paul himself states in 1 Corinthians 15:9 that "I persecuted the church of God." Paul would never have become the mighty man of God that he became had he allowed other people to remind him of his checkered past. Paul had a lot to forget in order to go forward with God.
None of us probably has as much to forget as Paul did in the sense that we are not the perpetrators of multiple murders in our past. Nonetheless, some people may need to make a decision to forget a past abortion, multiple divorces, a painful rejection, not completing college, having children out of wedlock, and a host of other things. Although people may try to remind you of the past, it is your job to forget it. In fact, often just before God does something great in your life, often someone will try to come along and remind you of your past in order to deter you from God’s purpose. God forgets our past and even says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12). If the only Person who matters forgets our past, then why should we remember it either?
Remember that God knew every mistake that we would ever make from the foundation of the world. Our past is no surprise to Him. Despite the wrong decisions we would make, from the foundation of the world, God said that His gifts and callings in our lives are without repentance (Romans 11:29) meaning that He never changes His mind about them. God's calling on your life does not change due to your past! He also assures you that while you were in your mother's womb, His "eyes saw" your "substance, being yet unformed" and that you are still "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14,16). God saw your substance including the wrong choices you would make and still declared that you are wonderfully made and righteous! Choose to forget your past and say what God says about you and not what people say about you based on your past!