Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “it is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” Genesis 41:51-52 (NIV)
Forgetting the fudges of the past produces present and future fruitfulness in one’s life. If we cannot forgive AND forget, our roots become bitter and rot out our purpose on this planet. How do we truly forget all the hurts and the wrongs done to us, we all wonder?! That’s impossible!! And yet… Matthew 19:26 (NLT) Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” So maybe selective memory IS possible, BUT if God has allowed the memories to remain then there is good that can come through them (Romans 8:28).
If we never remembered a wrong done to us we would never know personally the emotional cost of forgiveness. We would then lose out on the dynamic dimension of God’s deep love revealed to us as we remember how short we have fallen and yet stand forgiven and justified through faith in Christ! For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 (NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1 (NIV)
Even when we cannot forget with our mind we can choose not to harbor any record of the wrongs in our hearts. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
We can choose never to mention it again with our tongues. Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
At times when our thoughts tempt us back we can choose rather to take captive those thoughts and make them again obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. We can choose to refix our focus, refix our gaze – fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Our God is fully qualified to handle our past, we have enough to bear facing forward in faith and by His grace may what we bear be fruitful. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18 (NIV) Our Heavenly Father is worthy of the fruit our lives would produce through our willingness to forgive and forget.
Today may your life be dripping with sweet juicy goodness that only comes from the freeing fruit of forgiving forgetfulness dear one, and may you be able to declare, …God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” Genesis 41:52 (NIV)