I heard someone say that she wished her loved ones would just forget about the wrong that she had done and move forward. The idea is a nice idea, that when we do wrong others would forgive and forget. In fact, the first part of that is simply to forgive. But, as hard as it may be to forgive, it is even harder to forget.
You will actually often here people say, “I do forgive you, but I will NEVER forget!”
The Word of God often tells us to forgive. In fact, it says in Matthew 18:20-22, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
It also says, “And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” (Luke 17:4) So, we can clearly see that forgiveness is essential. But, let’s get to this business about forgetting.
Forgetting something is the equivalent of something dying out. Habits, knowledge, ideas, etc., are established by constant repetition of them, and likewise, they end by constant neglect of them. If you want for people to forget about something, you just discontinue the behaviors that remind them of it. Likewise, if you want to forget something that someone did to you, you also have to starve it by stop talking about and thinking about it. (If you want to know how to stop thinking about it, you must learn to catch it at first thought and challenge/rebuke it with a counter thought against it – see 2 Corinthians 10:5)
The more that those reminders are neglected and REMOVED (if it’s a behavior), the more it will start fading from memory until eventually it will be so far in the back of your or their head that it seems weird to even bring it up anymore. Then, just like in Job 18:16-17, the past “…roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off. His REMEMBERANCE SHALL PERISH from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street.”
Starve the memory of your past mistakes by eliminating the behaviors that surrounded those mistakes (true repentance), and in doing so, the memory of those mistakes will fade into oblivion. And then though some people who have no life of their own may still try to bring it up beyond that, it would be so awkward on them because you are so much more different than that mistake once made.
None of your God-given talents are meant to be wasted or muffled! You may be an evangelist, but have a passion and skill for hip-hop. Some would call this a conflict of interest, but the truth is that God gave you both your callings and your gifts, even those that some people would find questionable because of their limited traditional understanding that is based more on tradition than the Word itself. It is your God-given purpose, however, for you to use both.
This is where it is going to get sticky though…
Some people feel like their skill is sexual, or violent, or some other taboo. But even with that, there is a purpose. Your sexual prowess was given to you not to be loose and “spread the love” but rather that you would be a gift to your spouse in support of his or her great mission in life. Your violent gift is not about being criminal but rather making you a warrior who can protect the weaker people who don’t have the ability to protect themselves. And likewise, your other”taboo” gifts also have an honorable purpose to use them for instead of the taboo purposes that they are normally associated with.
Your gifts and skills are not meant to be muffled! Use them, no matter what they are, in service to God’s will and plan. Your superior drug selling skills (sampling, marketing, selling, financials) can be used honorably in terms of entrepreneurship to take care of your family the right way. Former prisoners, as inventive as they can be, can use those same skills to now invent things to save lives instead of to take them. None of your skills are in vain. Use them for the greater good, and God’s glory.
They were given to you as gifts. Enjoy them, and allow them to make room for you. Remember…
Proverbs 18:16 – A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
“The best way to destroy someone is slowly so that they won’t recognize what is happening until it’s too late, and then when the final blow is dealt, they will not be able to defend themselves from it.” ~Kelvin N. Broadus, from ‘Life Warfare’
When we are going through this life, we must realize that we are not only under constant assault, but that we must also be careful not to constantly support our own destruction. By all means, when we face an obvious threat and are backed into the corner, we typically will bite, scratch, and claw our way out or give it every effort to escape. However, what about those times when it isn’t so obvious?
Many times, we are under assault and don’t even know it. We are even supporting it progressively, and not even aware. Every negative, meditative thought is a subtle attack on the abundant, at peace life that we are promised by our creator! This is why the Bible admonishes us in “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor 10:5). These types of thoughts are sent to us by our enemies, both internally and externally, skillfully orchestrated by the “powers and principalities” that exist to keep us from becoming all that we are destined to become. And, they are so subtle, that we will often excuse them away from being the progressive, detrimental threat that they truly are, a threat that will ultimately lead to your stagnation and/or destruction.
Know this… the enemy is real! And, he is a their who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy!” (John 10:10). This spiritual enemy is after you so “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8). Understanding how such an enemy operates will help equip you to overcome, BUT YOU MUST RECOGNIZE the SUBTLE and PROGRESSIVE approach!!
Even an lion in the jungle is progressive. The lion hides in tall grass watching the groups of prey, and just the same, your enemy is looking at more than just you seeing which if you is easiest to pick off. It is an intimidation game, and just as the animals being watched feel the tension in the air and don’t recognize the source, people also will feel the danger in the air and excuse it to be paranoia, all the while progressively developing more doubt, fear, and even sabotaging themselves with their own constant negative meditation and negative thought. This weakens you over time, gradually, and while this lion is still hiding in the grass without you recognizing the mind game being played on you, he waits until you become weak enough… and then… ATTACK!!!
Unfortunately, by then, your faith has become so weak, and you’ve been battered emotionally so long, that you are now helpless to fight it. This is why it is so very important to constantly pray (without ceasing), FEED your SPIRIT with the Word of God, fellowship with encouraging (COURAGE) people who will help support and empower you, and seek God’s guidance in every situation!
The devils is as a lion, but you don’t have to be the victim. Stay strong in the faith and faith building connections and activities. Don’t be the victim. All of the lion’s prey are not successfully taken, and neither do you have to be! One major key, however, is to stop the PROGRESSIVE attacks (negative thoughts, words, affiliations, etc.), and this will be your victory, in the name of Yeshua.
Bless you indeed, by the grace of God,