How to Forget the Bad and Remember the Good

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Ricardo Sanchez

In life there are things we forget to remember and there are things we remember that we need to forget. Why is it that you can remember the anniversary your husband forgot eight years ago, but you forget how God miraculous provided an answer in the midst of a desperate situation? Or why can you remember the person who misused you in a business deal many moons ago, but you don’t remember the time God opened a door for a new contract when you were under the gun to meet a quota? You’ve forgotten that you used to cry out to God for a godly spouse. Now you only remember that he didn’t clean the bathroom or take out the trash! Am I making the picture clear?

Why can men remember who won the Super Bowl in 1977 or how many home runs Sammy Sosa hit in 1998, but they can’t remember to pray with their children or tell their wives how beautiful they look? It is easy to forget the important things and remember the unimportant things. You must make a choice to remember the things God has done for you, and you must also make a choice to forget those things or situations in life that have wronged you.

The power of your memory and the interaction with your brain is amazing. In the simplest form scientists have learned that a memory is retrieved by the communication between what is called the synapses and neurons, which send and receive electrical signals and act as pathways and receptors for information in your brain.

When you remember things that are unimportant, you have to spend the time and energy focusing on that memory in order to recreate that “pathway” mentioned above in your brain, for those thoughts to easily be recalled. What I am saying is that when you remember things you need to forget, you’ve spent time focusing on them and recalling them from your brain. Instead, you need to spend time focusing on the things that are important. You must build memorials in your life to remember the good things and the God things. Otherwise, they are easy to forget.

If you’re like me there are certain days in history that will forever be etched into your heart. Sept. 11, 2001, is one of those days in my life. America was forever changed. Ten years later to the day a memorial was opened to the families of those fallen heroes who lost their lives in the tragedy of 9/11, which was felt by America but experienced around the world. I watched as mothers, sons, fathers, grandparents, daughters, wives and husbands wept as they walked through and found their loved one’s name artistically carved in stone in memory of the life they gave up, some voluntarily and some involuntarily.

My generation may never forget what happened on 9/11, but my sons—who didn’t share that memory—might not remember the importance of that day; and my grandchildren will only read about the events that happened on 9/11 in a history book. Memorials connect generations and remind us of what could easily be forgotten.

Memorials are so important to God that on multiple occasions, He instructed His people to erect a memorial or to make an altar in memory of what He had done for that generation. A memorial can be a point of contact for your faith and a reminder that if God brought you through once, He can bring you through again!

Remembering what God has done and setting up memorials for you and your family is a valuable place to stand when life doesn’t go as planned—or for that matter, when life does go as planned. When you look back and remember God’s faithfulness in your life, your faith is spurred to know that God is going to continue to be faithful to you in the future.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a brief minute to touch on the fact that your life, your memorials, your “it’s not over” moments, both the victories and the pain, are combining piece by piece, forming your legacy. This life is “but a fleeting moment,” and the choices you make—the choice to not give up and to persist in the face of adversity—will outlive you. Your legacy is not dependent on how old you are, what your family left you as an inheritance, or how many people are against you. Your legacy is determined by your obedience to the voice of God, and the choices you make when you face those times when you have to hold onto everything you know, and boldly believe that “It’s not over.”

Adapted from It’s Not Over by Ricardo Sanchez, copyright 2012, published by Passio, Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group. How do you find the endurance to keep going when the pain seems overbearing? In this book the author shares how he and his family found the strength and hope to make it through their darkest hour. This true story will inspire and encourage you to trust God and allow the Holy Spirit to bring you to supernatural peace. To order your copy, click here.


This week take time to remember the goodness of God and how He’s been faithful through the years to save, heal, restore and provide for you. Thank Him for all He has done, even in the difficult times when all you had were His promises. Remember them, thank Him for them, and share them with those closest to you. Pray for those who are still reeling from the multiple tragedies of this past week: the terrorism in Boston, the explosions in West, Texas, and the challenges of floods and snow storms across the nation. Lift up our president and those working with him to provide safety and security for our people. Pray for those who lost loved ones and ask that those responsible be brought to justice. Continue to pray for Israel, the persecuted church and more laborers for His harvest field. 1 Thes. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:1-4; James 5:16-18

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