Saturday, October 17, 2015

THE GOOD OLD DAYS!

We often advise each other to "forget the past" and "live in the moment." We do have a way of distorting the past so that it somehow seems euphoric. But it was not! We have problems now - but we had problems then as well! Many conclude that "These are the good old days" and we should simply choose to enjoy the moment.


THE PURPOSE OF MEMORY!
There is much wisdom in that line of thinking - but is it always true? What if we commit a sin such as adultery? Is looking back with deep regret on what we had before we sinned and where we are now always a bad thing?

God gave us the ability to remember for His good purposes!

It seems, as is the case with many things that God gives us, we can choose whether we use it for good or harmful purposes! We can bring up distorted memories of the past which result in missing the opportunities of the present. But memory also helps us to master skills or learn from our mistakes!

Moses told the children of Israel to remember:

Remember! Do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day that you departed from the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord."
Deuteronomy 9:7


HARMFUL AND HELPFUL!
Remembering our sins can be harmful!

If we dwell on them, they can make us feel worthless and feel hopeless to change. The gospel gives us great ho[e to change because God Spirit lives in the hearts of the redeemed to effect that change as we yield to Him!

On the other hand, remembering our sins can be helpful!

We are not to constantly focus on our past sins because we cannot change them. Yet it is spiritually unhealthy to completely block them, pretending that they never happened!

We used to have a definition of insanity that went something like this:

INSANITY: Doing the same things over and over but expecting a different result!

We also called that being "stuck on stupid!"

Living in the past can keep us from enjoying, or living in, the moment! This is true whether the memories are good or bad ones. Bad memories may cause us to fear and shrink from the present and future! Good memories may keep us in a comfort zone that we never want to grow out of!

But pretending the past never existed is a form of denial - and will stunt our growth! We can and should examine our past as objectively and unemotionally as possible. More importantly, we should present the past to God for His perfect examination - allowing Him to make corrections as He sees fit!

"The unexamined life is not with living." Socrates

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart.
     Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me;
     And lead me in the way everlasting

     King David (Psalms 139:23-24)



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