What Do You Remember?
Categories: Pastor's Blog
“Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can’t quit thanking
God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you!.” Colossians 1:3 (The Message)
What do you remember about people? Do you remember the good experiences or the bad experiences? In Philippians 1:3-5 Paul says, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Paul said, “I like to remember the good things about people, focus on the good times we’ve had, remember the positive experiences.”
When Paul said this we need to remember that Paul had not had an easy time in Philippi. As we read about Paul’s time in Philippi, we look to Acts 16 and it tells us that when Paul went to Philippi; he was illegally arrested, whipped, humiliated, and thrown into prison and then he was finally asked to leave town. Yet we find Paul saying, “I thank God every time I remember you.”
Paul could have chosen to dwell on the negative experiences but he chose not to remember the painful; instead, he focused on the things he could be grateful for.
In your life experiences you may have been hurt in the past by someone in your life and you’re still holding on to that hurt. As a result you are unable to enjoy being around them today. You are choosing to focus on the bad and the negative. Paul shows us that we should choose to be grateful for the good in people. Pleasant memories are a choice. I can choose what I am going to remember about the past.
I am not saying that you should deny the hurts you have had or that you excuse the weaknesses in other people. That is psychologically unhealthy. But you can choose to focus on the good and choose to emphasize the strengths.
On many occasions I have heard wives say, “He’s a good man, but … .” Anytime you hear “but” it means the emphasis is about to change from the first statement to the second part. Many times people start with a positive statement and then follow it up with “but…” and we realize the statement is about to change.
If you want to enjoy others, you need to focus on their strengths and not their weaknesses. I realize
that with some people it takes a lot of creativity. But you can find something good in everybody.
I am looking forward to seeing you this weekend.