What to Do with Memories

Chic Broersma

READ : Psalm 25:1-7

Remember not the sins of my youth. (v. 7)

Memories can bless or torment. In a random moment there flashes a familiar face across your mental screen. Maybe it’s someone you worked with years ago, or went to church with, someone with whom you prayed or laughed. Maybe it’s the face of a loved one now with the Lord.

How you respond depends, in part, on your personality. If you can immediately give thanks for that person and go on, I envy you. But if you’re like me, there’s a prior step. The memory makes you sad. You know you can’t go back. You’ll never share those great times again. You’ll never be together again in the same way. Now that you’ve acknowledged your sadness you’re ready to give thanks to the Lord. You acknowledge the real pang of sadness, then move forward to give thanks for the time God gave you together back then.

Then there are also the painful memories. Some faces that come remind you of foolish, harmful, or selfish things you’ve done; of people you’ve hurt, or who hurt you. In these cases we don’t want to go back, we just want to forget. But first we must forgive. Then pray for God to forgive us.

I love the verse, “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness O Lord!” (v. 7).


Prayer: Lord, I will remember not with guilt but with gratitude.