Repentance and Memory Lane

A spirit of repentance will encourage you to remember where you have come from in your spiritual life. While our memory is not always accurate, when you want to change from where you are to where God wants you to be, He will enable your memory to remember “from where you have fallen” (Rev. 2:5).

Do you remember when…

  • You were in the first grade?
  • You had a first best friend?
  • You were given your first tricycle, big wheel, or bike?

Do you remember…

  • Subjects you studied in 3rd grade?
  • The color of your classroom?
  • The name of your elementary school?

Some of us remember more details than others about our childhood. My wife remembers many details about her childhood, while I struggle with the details. Though I have trouble with the small stuff, important events stick with me. Remembering a crisis, a happy event, a new job, marriage, or a new relationship seems to come easy. Minor details tend to slip away.

I remember talking with my granddad about his childhood and it seemed he could remember more about his childhood than I could about mine. The medical profession tells us that the older we get, the better our long-term memory becomes, while our short-term memory is degraded. My dad illustrated this by saying that he was getting so old that he could hide his own Easter eggs!

No matter how good your memory, you either can or cannot point to a moment in your life when you made a decision to invite Jesus Christ into your life.

Once, I proposed to a disturbed counselee to share with me about the peace that Christ brings to one’s life. He became more disturbed!

“Don’t hand me that stuff,” he said. “I’ve asked God for help many times, and it doesn’t work.”

“When did you ask Him to come into your life?” I asked.

“I’ve been a Christian all my life,” he said. “I grew up in church.”

I persisted. “When did you ask Him to come into your life?”

“I can’t remember,” he said.

To clarify this step to Him, I asked if he remembered when he purchased his last car. That he could remember. He also remembered exactly when he got married, when he accepted airplane tickets for his last flight, and when he accepted his present job.

When the God of the Universe takes up residence in you, it should be a memorable event! Jesus gives you access to God’s resources: peace, joy, hope, patience. Once you receive this gift through a repentance, then you can put everything and everyone into His hands. You need not be hesitating over anything. You can stop striving and let His peace guard your heart, mind, and body.

It does not follow that, because you have access to strength from God, you will give Him your troubles, injustices, hatreds, hostility, conflicts, or ill will. You can, but you can also nurse them within your body. Memory of your unconfessed wrong acts helps you to have complete repentance in your life. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…(Rev. 2:5).

It is important to note that the acts of the sinful nature are not beyond God’s ability to heal. Nor are these acts beyond the biblical counselor’s level of competency in providing help to you. If you want God’s help to turn north, you have access to His resources when repentance becomes real in your life. If you turn south, you put yourself in the world’s hands.

Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent…(Rev. 3:3).

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