A few days ago, I was watching television with a friend. It was one of my favorite sitcoms from the 80’s. (I will not reveal the show because it is not the purpose of this writing). In one of the scenes, a female character appeared. I said, “oh, I remember her” then my friend said, “I don’t like her.” I asked why and my friend said, “You don’t remember what she did in real life?” I recalled the incident my friend was speaking of and it was over 25 years ago! What immediately came to mind is why we remember the worst in people and not the best. When we think of those who have wronged others, or us we tend to remember the incident and forget about who the person truly is.
Why do we remember the negative things people do? Why do we hold onto the memory? Does it provide a sense of comfort? Does it remind us not to get hurt the same way again? Is it a reminder not to trust again? Do we feel justified to hold onto the memory?
Some time ago, I was hurt deeply by someone I loved. Each time I saw the person, I could only remember the hurt. Though I forgave them, it was difficult to get past the offense. It was not until I hurt someone else that the Lord began to show me my own heart. How ironic that we want the same forgiveness extended to us that we are not willing to extend to others. How would we feel if each time we came to God about something, he reminded us of the sin we committed against him?
The Lord loves us so much that when we sin against him and repent he forgives and forgets our sin. Isaiah 43:25 states, “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again” (NLT). What a blessing it is to serve God and not man!
Each of us must get to the point where we look at those who have hurt us through the lens of God. It is not always easy to do, but when we need forgiveness and for the offense we committed to be forgotten, we can look back and remember we have extended the same to those who have offended us.
Now, I am not saying that once someone has wronged us we should open ourselves up to be hurt again. However, we must use wisdom and discern the true intentions of the person; but it still does not give us permission to hold onto negative memories and ponder them in our hearts.
Isaiah 43:18 says, “remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.” This means we should forget the things behind us and look ahead.
I encourage you to look ahead today!