We are going to take a look at how to handle past memories in a biblical manner. There is a popular easy listening song that begins with the following words,
“Memories, like the corners of my mind, misty water colored memories of the way we were…Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind, smiles we gave to one another of the way we were.”
While my readers are a diverse group of people, difference ages, places in life, different likes and dislikes- we all have one thing in common in that we all have a past, and we have memories of that past.
The world says that many of the wrong ways we relate to our friends and spouses today have to do with our past. I agree that we bring many unresolved things into our adulthood. Who among us has come from a perfect family? And even if our home life was perfect we were still faced with various calamities like geographical moves, loss of friendships and other relationships, and even death.
Most of these tragedies were dealt with as they happened, and we grew around them and through them. However, some things do not get satisfactorily settled or resolved. Some bad things may have happened to you as a child, like abuse of one kind or another, having a parent who was not loving or nurturing or possibly had a problem with substance abuse like drugs or alcohol.
If I gave you the opportunity to tell me your life story in 15 minutes, what would you tell me?
When you think about your past, does it bring back warm and fond memories of a loving and caring childhood and loving parents and siblings? Or does it bring back memories of yelling and screaming and parents who cursed and hit you? Would your life story revolve around how you have been mistreated? By what has been done to you? What has been said or done, or not said or not done?
Regardless of what you remember, you have a past and it is imperative that we understand what God’s Word has to say about how to handle it. God is the one who gave us the ability to retain and store information in our brains, therefore He must have a purpose and plan for those memories.
All you have to do is pick up the newspaper or turn on the news each night to see the issue of the past is primary in the way the world deals with interpersonal problems, marriage, and family issues. We also have to look at how the world handles behavioral matters such as in a legal trial for assault, murder, or neglect.
Although it is not a popular view, I do not like to excuse sinful behavior done as an adult by blaming what happened to a person as a child. Of course, a person may carry many scars from their battles or have an emotional weak spot where they are especially sensitive, but ultimately all of these things can be overcome in Christ.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
The Bible clearly says that in Christ we are new, a new creation! We have a new Father, a new Spirit, a new nature which has been given to us by God. We have a new family with whom we will spend eternity. We also have a choice to be in bondage to the philosophy of the world that says we are all a victim of something or someone.
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