If you’ve ever ventured into my office for some reason (many of you haven’t and I’m wondering why) you have seen the different things I have in here. Lots of items I’ve collected, books, post-it-notes, my filing cabinet, furniture, etc. I also have lots and lots of pictures of my family. On the bulletin board hanging over my desk there are some of my favorite pictures of me and Kim, the kids, and our family. Each of those pictures has a memory attached to it. Memories are a good thing, most of the time. We remember fun times, things we did as a family, places we’ve been, long-time friends. We also remember family who have passed on. But memories aren’t always a good thing for us. We remember sad times, times of struggle, times that we’d sometimes rather forget when we made a bad choice. If you’re like many people some of the memories we have are of sins committed. We can’t seem to shake those and the guilt comes with them. Many people struggle with beating themselves up over past sins. I do sometimes.
I don’t believe that’s the way God intended it for his children. Sure, I believe that God wants us to learn from the times we sin and the consequences that come with them but I don’t believe that he wants us to beat ourselves up constantly about those.
I hang on to two passages when it comes to the times that I’m struggling with this very thing. There are others but I want to share these with you.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Hebrews 10:15-17: “The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
There’s nothing wrong with remembering things that teach us lessons and make us better Christians and better people, but don’t dwell on them in a way that hinders that process.