Forgetting and Remembering

2 Apr

Pregnant_PantingInLaborAmnesia ~ A condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to make love again.

Impregnable ~ A woman whose memory of labor is still vivid! *

Obviously, our memories can play a significant role in our future choices and activities!

Some things are good to remember; others, you’d like to forget. For example:

  • Remember what went before, because “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it,” says the philosopher.
  • “We need to remember history so we don’t repeat its errors,” says the historian.
  • Remember your Creator,” says the preacher.
  • “It’s good to remember the times you felt close to God,” says the revivalist.

And …

  • “Forgive and forget,” says the psychologist.
  • Forget your troubles and relax,” says the cruise director.
  • Forget about the concept of the perfect mate,” says the relationship specialist.
  • Forget your regrets and risk more,” says the motivational speaker.

We don’t usually have a choice about what we remember, do we? But we can choose how we respond to what we remember. And while we may want to forget something, it just may not be possible. Sometimes we just can’t erase the memories. We can, however, add new meaning to an experience, or give it fresh purpose.

A wonderful book to help people deal with hurtful memories is Putting Your Past in Its Place by Stephen Viars (Harvest House, 2011). ** [I mentioned this book a few days ago in the post, “Don’t Look Back.”]

Viars  explains how to categorize painful past events. The four categories are: (1) You were innocent in an event or circumstance (where you were hurt, abused, misunderstood, etc.), and you responded well; (2) You were innocent, but you responded poorly; (3) You were guilty in some way, but you responded well; or (4) You were guilty, but you responded poorly. The author then explains how to deal biblically with issues from the past, once they are properly categorized.

Some people are so afraid of making a mistake that others might remember that they don’t try anything new. Yet mistakes are often the best memories, when we grow from the experience. Our failures, handed over to  God who wants to redeem them, can shape and transform us and motivate us to make better choices.

It’s good to stop once in a while and think about our priorities. What do we need to remember in order to honor God and live righteously? These days, when I (Dawn) watch the news, I wonder what’s coming next ~ and whether we’ll be ready for it, as a nation. One thing I know is true:  When the world’s in upheaval, it’s always good to remember what’s important.

And that leads me to priorities. What are your priorities? God is my number one priority. I want to remember to spend time with Him in prayer and Bible study. My husband is my second priority. When my children were in my home, they were the next priority, because they were my key ministry. Now that they have families of their own, I still want to spend time with them ~ and I want to enjoy my grandchildren ~ but I also have a ministry now. That is a priority.

Remembering priorities for today helps us not to focus so much on the problems in our past. We have a present-forward focus.

I like what Paul said in Philippians 3:13: “…Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” In the Message, this reads, “… I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward ~ to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

How about you? What are you “forgetting” by the grace of God ~ handing hurts over to Him and dealing with the issues of your past biblically? And what are you remembering to do, based on your God-given priorities?

It’s my hope that you are “reaching forward” with passion and courage, ready for the next adventures God has planned for you!

* From “Definitions Only Parents Understand” – http://housekeeping.about.com/od/humorforthehome/Cleaning_Humor_and_History.htm

** Another helpful book on this topic is Putting Your Past Behind You: Finding Hope for Life’s Deepest Hurts (by Erwin W. Lutzer (Moody Publishers, 1997)

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