Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Forgive & Remember

Forgive & Remember

A couple of years ago my friend, Tony Sutherland and I wrote a song called, "Forgive and Remember." A portion of the lyrics and the idea for the concept of the song were Tony's original idea.

I had just shared my life story "LIVE" at the church we attended together where Tony was the Worship Pastor.

He called me to say that he had an idea for a song and thought of me and my testimony when the idea came to mind. He asked if I would take a look at it and participate in finishing the song. I did, then recorded it on my LEGACY acoustic project, and the rest is history.

Every time I speak LIVE, or someone listens to my NO HARM DONE testimony CD, I get tons of questions regarding forgiveness. It seems that across the church for many years the idea of forgiveness in regard to the way Jesus would have us offer it is simply, "Forgive and Forget". Actually Tony said his main inspiration behind the Chorus of the song was due to the fact that he had heard people say all of his life, "Just forgive and forget."

After finding it impossible to do, (the forgetting part, that is). many grew despondent and lost faith that they had really ever forgiven at all.

I spoke with a friend of mine just yesterday who Pastors the Andrews Church of God in Andrews, NC where I just shared my life story last week-end. He said that several people had asked him how to forgive and forget. Many were even of the idea that it was best to leave the past in the past and not dig it up for any reason. Not even to share in your testimony. I think some may have felt that telling of what they had walked through in the past would only open old wounds that had long been locked away in a solitude, and secret place.

I completely understand the theory behind this thinking. Many hurts, sins and disappointments of our lives are just too painful to face. Facing them means that we either pick them up as a banner of hatred and unforgiveness, or we are forced to deal with those same issues and offer much forgiveness, not only to the one who hurt us the most, but also to ourselves.

Let me explain forgiveness to you this way. It is like a dry bridge now erected over the dangerous waters below that once held us captive. We can stand on that bridge of forgiveness and clearly remember when once there was no such bridge. It is easy to look over the edge of that bridge and still see the waters below us. Once, we were all drowning in the raging waters of hatred, bitterness and the inability to forgive the ones who had hurt us so deeply.

However, forgiveness builds a strong bridge over those rough waters of the past, bringing us to a place of safety and remembrance. A remembrance of just how much we have been forgiven. It is ridiculous to think that we have forgotten the hurts or sins of our past. We really NEED to remember the past. Without a memory of what God has brought us through and delivered us from, there is no testimony offering freedom to others, now drowning in their own rough waters of life.

Many are waiting to offer forgiveness and walk into the light of God's truth about their sins and bitterness until they FEEL it. As I've said many times before, "You'll be waiting until Hell freezes over." That feeling you so long for will only come by way of the precious Holy Spirit AFTER you have taken the plunge into a commitment of forgiveness for your transgressor.

If you plan on staying married as long as you feel like it, and divorcing when you don't...I can guarantee you divorce is in your future. There are just days when you don't FEEL like you're in love anymore. Thankfully, love is not a feeling. It is a choice and a solemn vow.

Forgiveness is no different. It is not offered when we feel like it. It is offered by choice. The freedom that follows is God's reward for the right choice over your own destiny.

Forgive and forget? IMPOSSIBLE!

Forgive and Remember...just how God has forgiven you?

It is the doorway to your FREEDOM!

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