When we go on vacation, one of the things we like to do is bring home souvenirs as mementos of the places where we have been. They might bring home a t-shirt, or a coffee mug, or a rock . . . something to remember where we went.

Perhaps we also pick up souvenirs of things we have accomplished. That rock has a story behind it: you picked it up at the peak of a mountain you climbed. That plaque was given to you by an organization you served for a number of year. Another keepsake may have belonged to your father or mother.

These are all memories of the past. They are reminders of where we have been; reminders of how we have lived our life; reminders of those who have influenced our life.

Do you have any souvenirs of your former way of life spiritually? Do you have something you are holding on to that reminds you of your way of life prior to becoming a Christian? Is there some part of you that keeps reminding you of just how “bad” you once were?

There is something to be said for remembering your life prior to becoming a Christian. In Philippians 3:5-11, Paul describes his life before he took that fateful trip to Damascus, when he met Jesus on the road. Three days later Saul of Tarsus was baptized into Christ, his sins were washed away, and he began to preach the faith he once tried to destroy.

Paul remembered his past, but he did not dwell on it. He wrote, “But whatever gain I had, I counted loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7, 8a).

Souvenirs sometimes lose their significance. The t-shirt tears or no longer fits, the coffee mug breaks, the memories fade. Perhaps it is time for us to let go of the past. Perhaps it is time for us to stop dwelling on what we were before we became a Christian.

God has forgiven you. You can forgive yourself. Do not let your past keep you from serving God in the present. Do not let the souvenirs of your past keep you from a future with God!