Last week on several of the daytime television shows, the guests were Scott Bolzan and his wife, Joan. Scott has amnesia due to a brain injury. His amnesia is not the temporary kind but the permanent (so far) retrograde type.
Amnesia is medically defined as a defect in memory, especially one resulting from pathological cause, such as brain damage or hysteria [via New Latin from Greek: forgetfulness, probably from amnēstia oblivion] simply defined it is forgetfulness.
After his injury, Scott didn’t remember his wife or children. He also didn’t remember how to do many ordinary things. He and his wife wrote a book that chronicles his recovery and efforts to rebuild his life. It is titled My Life Deleted. While the couple told hysterical stories about their new reality, they also openly communicated their daily trials.
I listened to the interview and thought to myself, boy there are somethings in my life I wish I could forget. Things like harsh words I can’t take back, stupid mistakes I can’t change, forgiven sins that pop back into my mind, bad memories, hard times, etc…
In Scripture we are told not to forget the Lord, His Word, His work in our lives. But did you know that forgetting is actually a Biblical concept, a sort of spiritual amnesia? Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) says, “Forget the former things do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing!” While in this context, God is speaking to Israel. He is reminding them to forget their years in exile due to their sins. The lesson for us is forget your old sins, you live under God’s mercy and grace. This is a new day.
Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 chooses spiritual amnesia for himself and encourages us to do the same. “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But, one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
As I age, I find it both encouraging and freeing to learn that sometimes we can have selective memories. God’s Word tells us to remember and forget. The Bible is full of that kind of paradox.
I want to cheer you on today! Forget the former, what’s behind you and press on toward the new thing. Practice spiritual amnesia and win!
What from your past do you need to forget? What sin do you remember that the Lord has already forgotten? What is holding you back as you move toward winning the promised prize?
Heavenly Father, Show us what we need to forget and reveal at the same time what we need to remember. In Jesus Name, Amen
Archived devotionals available at: http://circleofsavings.com/Devotional.aspx