Forgot To Remember To Forget by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom

“I Forgot to Remember to Forget” is a rockabilly/country song written by Stan Kesler and Charlie Feathers and was first recorded by Elvis in 1955. I especially like songs with a  great hook — a phrase that catches my ear and makes me think. The first time I heard this song, it made an unforgettable impression on me. Certain experiences in life are better forgotten than remembered. For example, if someone says or does something that hurts you, it’s best to just drop it, leave it, forget it, and move on.


Good memories are a source of comfort and joy that we can cherish forever. And bad memories aren’t to be wallowed in, but forsaken and left in the past. Jesus makes it quite clear that believers are to live our lives forward. “Jesus said to him, ’No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:62 AMP). Forget any negative circumstances that lie behind you and plow ahead toward God’s excellent master plan. Looking and living in reverse will severely hinder your ability to live the abundant life that Jesus died and arose to give you.


Most everyone has a tendency to revisit painful memories, but it should just be a flash of remembrance for believers. God doesn’t want us to dwell on (or live in) the past. You’re no good to yourself or your loved ones if you’ve been “out to lunch” since 1987. Make the decision to let go of past sorrows and disappointments. God’s grace is bounteously given to help us overcome all of our hurts, as Paul plainly instructs us. “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are [our inner being is] being renewed every day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 NLT). He restores my soul — this is a “now” healing. God is an ever-present help and He needs us to keep heading toward our destiny.


In the Old Testament we find an amazing declaration spoken by Joseph in Genesis 41:51 ESV: “God has made me forget all my hardship.“ Obviously, God didn’t give Joseph amnesia, but He enabled him to live abundantly blessed in the present. His hurtful past was simply a fleeting memory because Joseph chose to focus on the goodness of God.


I taught piano for 25 years and, occasionally, it was necessary to instruct a student on the proper technique for correcting mistakes. If a student messed up in the middle of the piece, sometimes he/she would stop and start all over from the beginning. I would ask, “If you were on your way to Pittsburg and had a flat, after you changed the tire, would you drive back to Fort Scott and start the trip all over?” A straightforward explanation about moving on was all the student needed in order to correct a bad habit and faulty mindset.


Believers cannot successfully accomplish anything without fully depending on Christ Jesus. Since we are in Christ, we have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to hold onto our hope. “So these are two things that don’t change, because it’s impossible for God to lie. He did this so that we, who have taken refuge in Him, can be encouraged to grasp the hope that is lying in front of us” (Hebrews 6:18 CEB). Don’t look backward, because hope is in front of you. My retired Navy pilot friend has often stated, “The runway behind you ain’t no good.”


The Key: Don’t forget to remember that God’s power equips you to forget an ugly past.

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