Releasing Old Memories

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Matthew 6:12 – And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (NASB)

Philippians 3:13-14 – Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

I recently joined a memoirs class. Memoir writing is popular because the way of life has changed greatly during the past century. There are many experiences my generation had that are no more. Progress has deleted them. The only way the future generations are to know about these things is for us to tell the story.

I learned a lot about memories in this class. Memories can be wonderful if they are good ones. It brings pleasure to recall and relive them. For some people, though, there are bad memories associated with childhood. Thoughts of failure and mistakes can become a heavy burden. As one grows older, there's a tendency to dwell on the mistakes and hurts of the past. They become terrible burdens weighing us down and draining our spirit.

We have to find a way to free ourselves from these burdens of memories, sometimes asking forgiveness if we are somehow responsible. God forgives us our sins, but it is sometimes far harder for us to forgive ourselves. There may be a need for us to forgive others who caused us pain. Jesus said in his model prayer, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." If we are to move forward without our burdens, at any age, we have to forgive, and, forgetting what is behind, press on toward the goal that we've been promised.

Prayer: Lord, help us to clear up the pain of old memories that burden and drag us down, to cherish the good memories in our storehouse, and to move toward Your goal of winning the prize to which You have called us through Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Ivie Bozeman <>
Thomasville, Georgia, USA

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