Put It Away
I read about an interesting custom that takes place every New Year’s Eve in Italy. Just before midnight, the streets are cleared. Even the policemen take cover, because at the stroke of midnight, the windows of the houses fly open, and to the sound of laughter, music, and fireworks, everyone throws out what they no longer want. Old dishes, hated furniture, and some personal possessions are tossed out of the windows. It’s a way of dealing with the old year, wiping it out, and starting fresh. I like the idea of that.
The apostle Paul said in Philippians, "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead" (3:13). To forget something does not mean failing to remember; it means no longer being influenced or affected by it.
When God promised, "For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:34), it is not suggesting that God was having a lapse in memory. He knows everything. He remembers everything. When God says He is choosing not to remember something, it means that He is putting it away.
We can put it away as well. We break the power of the past by living for the future. And we should not choose to remember what God has chosen to forget. Sometimes we are crippled by the things we have done wrong. Instead, we should learn from our mistakes and fail forward, which means not doing the same things again. Otherwise, we haven’t learned anything.
It’s a serious sin to do the wrong thing, but what is even worse is to repeat it. And one sure way to forget our past is to not repeat our mistakes.