Forgive. Forget. Remember.
“As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.” – Proverbs 27:19
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As I celebrate another year of life (thank God for another year!), I’ve reflected on the things that I think are most important in this life. I want to share some of them with you. You must do these things if you want to succeed:
If you’re living, then you are going to be offended or hurt by someone at some point in your life. You’re also going to be the one doing the offending and hurting, at times, however well-intentioned and good your heart may be. But, if you want to do well in life, you have to learn to forgive others of their wrongs against you. Jesus said if we don’t forgive others of their wrongs against us, then our heavenly Father won’t forgive us of our wrongs (Mark 11:26). Holding on to stuff is not good for your mental or physical well-being. It’s just best to forgive others of their sins against you – no matter how egregious the offense – and move on.
So many of us have so much emotional and psychological baggage. If we ruminate on past hurts, past sins, or past failures, then we are bound to become depressed. God doesn’t want us to dwell on the past. When we repent, God says, “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). Even God forgets our sins once we are forgiven of them. That’s why forgiveness is so important. Stewing on the past gets us nowhere. The prophet Isaiah said, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old” (Isaiah 43:18). We must be like the apostle Paul and forget those things which are behind so that we can reach forward and press ahead to the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
Now, I know that I just said you have to forget. But there are some things you must remember, too. We forget the bad and the negative things, but we are to remember how good God is to us (Psalm 77:11). We must remember His Word and His covenant with us (Psalm 103:18). Whenever I am down or discouraged, I remember how blessed I am and begin to number my blessings. Remembering the good can help us forget the bad. And remembering how good God is to us can help us forgive others because we know that God forgives us, too.
Let’s all strive to forgive others, to forget the hurt of the past, and to remember God and His goodness.