I don’t know about you but I’ve found it easy to remember the things that don’t matter. The wrongs done to me, the hurts endured, the sins I’ve done and whatever else that isn’t vital to my being. Scripture clearly says that love takes no account of wrong done so what’s the struggle? Why must I recount the things of the past that are not only over but can’t be changed no matter how much I think them?
I asked God these questions and I sat and pondered them to myself as well. I think I’ve got the answer; actually, I know I do!! Scripture tells us to meditate on the word day and night (Joshua 1:9) to think on things that are lovely and pure (Philippians 4:8) and to give attention to the word (Proverbs 4:20). It stands to reason that if I’m being obedient to those commands then I’d really have no time or space to ‘keep an account’ of the not so good things I’ve gone through.
Recently in my quiet time, I was impressed to pray some specific prayers—the armor of God, Ephesians and Colossians prayer—that I’d written down years ago. They are all word based but they were written out in the first person so I went to look for them in my room. Unfortunately, they were not there but what I found was a gem. Years ago I was hungry to study the word and to grow closer to God—this is still true today but that was around the time when I got really serious. I wasn’t in school and I was looking for work so I had a lot of free time.
Anyway, I found a journal that I used to write down all my notes and the nuggets I heard while reading and in prayer. I forgot to mention that in this quiet time that I’m referring to, I was feeling discouraged and I needed something. I prayed and I sought the Lord for relief but even still I felt overwhelmed. Not long after I was led to pray the prayers I mentioned above and to read some scriptures that I’d written down. I often find myself writing scripture out long hand but sometimes I fail to go back to them—working on it!
Ok, back to my point: this journal that I found encouraged me so much! For one, the Word of God was written all throughout! Not only that but I’d written my take on it, where I was at the time and what it meant to me. Not only did the journal help to encourage me but it was full of the Word of God AND it reminded me of times when I’d been in discouraging situations before. I was able to go back and REMEMBER what God had done in my life before. And because God never changes I was reminded that what He did before He’d do again. He took care of me before and He would again.
All this to say: when we choose to remember the good or our past with God, it’s easy to keep records of good instead of bad. I like what Proverbs 4 says in the Passion Translation, “Listen carefully, my dear child, to everything that I teach you, and pay attention to all that I have to say. Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit. Then, as you unwrap my words, they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being. So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:20-23 TPT)
What we fill our thoughts with will determine where our peace lies. This post isn’t necessarily about forgiveness—it can be—but I’m also talking about the thoughts we think towards ourselves. At times, I’ve found myself taking accounts of the wrong things I’ve done; be it to God, myself or others. But He’s reminded me that there’s something else to remember; His Word! His Love! His Peace and His Salvation! I can remember the times He’s saved me before and the miracles He’s performed in His word, the ‘memories’ are endless.
I’ll leave you with this: whatever’s on your mind, whatever’s got your attention and seems to be weighing you down—choose to let it go. Give it to God and replace it with His word, choose to remember your relationship with Him—what has He done for you, what experiences have you shared with Him—whatever it is and whatever you have to do, choose to remember the good. In doing so, you’ll find that you don’t have room to take account of the bad stuff.