For years, I've kept a daily journal. I love looking back to recall what God was teaching me through certain events. But, frankly, some things need to be forgotten! Therapists and pastors often help people forget that which might keep them from sound mental/spiritual health. Paul said it was the “one thing” he did to ensure his progress: “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Phil. 3:14).
forgetting (like forgiveness) is a process that begins with a choice. Jesus said, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Looking back signifies recalling the past, whether with happiness or regret, in a way that hinders our commitment and/or progress.
Of course forgetting is not so easy. Our brains are hard-wired with memories—we cannot erase them like a data file. But what we can do is “not call to mind—choosing to not think about— former things” (Is. 43:18). I am so grateful we have a God who forgets: “I will remember their sins no more” (Is. 43:25).
Happy are those who ‘forgive.’ Happier still are those who ‘forget.’