The Art of Forgetting

When asked to write this article, I pondered in my heart what my subject should be and how I might aid someone on their journey of life.

The great purpose of the church is to help someone better know God and His purpose for their life. God wants each one to have a strong foundation, and that foundation is found in His word.  So it is good for us to remember God, His word, His love, His grace, His mercy, and above all, how much He really does love each one.

It is possible to grow up in a church, within a spiritual atmosphere, and never get the message that God really does care about the individual.  I believe this is one message upon which Jesus, in His ministry, placed strong emphasis—His care for one. Often times we see Him taking one person aside to minister to them.  So it is a must for you to know that He cares for you, not just the multitudes.

We often see in the newspapers and other means of advertisements, various courses designed to aid people in remembering.  Some years back, a new drug was introduced to aid a person with failing memory. These aids are nothing new; memory help was first born in the mind of Simonides of Ceos some five hundred years before Christ.

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The name given it is mnemonics:  the art of assisting memory by associating a name with an object or event. I will have to admit that sometimes our memory does fail. Some years ago, a friend of mine was introducing a minister to speak at a large gathering. He had not previously met the minister, whose name was David Silvernail. Using the method of mnemonics, he thought… “something valuable and used to fasten something to an object…”   Then he welcomed the minister to the pulpit and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you Reverend David Goldscrew.”

A good memory is an invaluable asset; by all means cultivate it.  There is so much in life that we need to remember.  In fact, life would be full of tragedy without this marvelous asset.  Right along with this art of recollection, (which we cannot too highly eulogize) there is something equally important and yet not often applauded:  the art of forgetting. There is a splendid art in that direction that we need to cultivate.

We have called forgetting a weakness that should be avoided, but this is an art ascribed to God. The writer of Hebrews says, “… their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”  If a person repents of sins and rightly seeks divine forgiveness, the record of misbehavior is not only crossed off the books of Heaven, but God actually allows it to pass completely from His memory. This ability that God shows us is so great that a good moral man and a terribly sinful man are placed alike in forgiveness.

If there is a possibility that in life you have wronged someone, in order to lift that load of guilt from your heart and mind, ask for forgiveness and then use this great God-given ability to forget it. You owe it to yourself, your family, and the person you have wronged.

This ability and the gift of forgiveness that God has shown toward us is something we need to strive to imitate.  We do well to put from our minds all wrongs done to us. During one’s lifetime an individual is bound to be misrepresented, lied about, injured, hurt, and deceived.  In order to have a happy life, for one’s own sake, these things must be put behind and forgotten.  Some people are not aware that this can be a plague to them all the remaining years of their life.  Here we should use the art of forgetting.  It is something that we must want and be willing to put effort into in order to achieve the desired result.

When you and I repent of our sins and wrong-doings before God, we have a right to forget those wrongs. It would be a senseless and useless thing to carry those wrong-doings in our hearts and minds and hammer ourselves with them. We do not want to take sin lightly, but we do want to know how really simple it is to find forgiveness and, in turn, use the art of forgetting.

The great apostle Paul said, “Forgetting the things that are behind, I press forward.”  So should we also use the art of forgetting and press forward to a great life designed by God Himself.

Remember, Jesus Christ forgives and forgets our wrong doings. We would do well to imitate this practice in our life.

Pastor Charles Glass
Faith Church

1800 N. FM 1417 (Heritage Pkwy)
Sherman TX 75090
(903) 893-0349
www.faithchurch.us

Publisher’s Note: This is one in a series of Guest Editorials on the subject of “Religion in Daily Life,” authored by members of the Texoma clergy. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Living! Magazine or its management.