Post details: Memories: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly


Permalink 06:16:33 pm, Categories: By Lisa, 1415 words   English (US)

Memories: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Have you ever had a memory that really just brought you joy? What about memories that you wish with all your might you could forget? How about the ones we KNOW we should forget, but by holding on to them, we feel we have ‘just cause’ to turn our nose up at someone?

I have those memories. Perhaps most of us do. One of my memories was when God saw fit—even when I didn’t realize I needed it, to send His message to me. I thought I already had the message. After all, wasn’t I a devoted worker in my church? Ahh… I remember back when…..

However, in remembering ‘back when’, it also brings to memory the plight I was in at that time. Nothing earth shattering, nothing monumental, nothing that would have really caught the attention of a passerby. I had been slowly sinking into the depths of the churchianity scene, and didn’t really know what to do about it. Have you ever just become so active in the church scene, that you were embarrassed to admit that on in the inside you were liken unto a withered old prune? That was me. Caught and no way to get out.

FWD to God sending me someone that shared the Gospel with me, and eventually, I found myself at the threshold of Truth. Now, what was I going to do about it? For me to plunge into God’s Truth, was by default, also proclaiming that my Christianity of past years was fake—shallow at best. Pam mentioned in her post that she still had friends who sometimes turned their noses up at other ‘less’ Christians than themselves. Might I confess that once upon a time, I was that sort of Christian? Those are memories I’d just as soon not remember, but they’re just a much part of who I was, as my birth name.

Within that same memory, though… is the memory of how even though I was self-righteous and quite frankly, reeked of arrogance, God still loved me! That’s what really just leaves me speechless every time I think of it. God saw just what it would take to be receptive to His Truth, and waited until just the right time. Has it been that way for you? Do you remember when you first came to Christ for Life? Not merely a fire insurance policy, but for His entire LIFE. To live NOW. In time, He has taught me that there is so much more to being one of His, than merely ‘not going to hell’, although that’s a nice fringe benefit. But to live NOW, and to LOVE now. Not just love folks who are the same as we are, (how easy is that if the Pharisees can even do that?) but to really love. Not necessarily the gushy gushy love, but the real tough love that practices self-restraint for the benefit of others? In fact, Love does EVERYTHING for the benefit of others. As Trent mentioned in one of his posts, nowhere does it say we can do the commandments God gave us (love others as God loves us) but through Christ, Him being in us, thereby our hope of Glory, it CAN be done.

This is a looooonnnnggggg lesson that I am STILL learning to this day, and I imagine will be learning until death do I part. I hate to say it, but I don’t always respond in love. The scripture even tells us in Romans, that if we have faith? Great! Have it to ourselves. In other words, don’t be a stumbling block with our new Freedom in Christ. I might know something is perfectly okay, but if by doing it, it causes my brother/sister to stumble, then I need to not do it—period. Love doesn’t always have to be right, or have it’s own way. Yep—still learning.

The good thing, is that no matter what our background, no matter what works have been attributed to us, God has ALWAYS loved us and always will. We might have a memory of when a friend/loved one wronged us. Bad memory? Yep. Best thing to do with is what Paul suggests in Philippians: but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,--Philippians 3:13 NLT More than likely, these memories won’t ever go away, but through trusting Christ, these memories can be disciplined to not rule my thinking process.

Good memories: Do you remember a time you were going through a trial, and God brought you through it? Why do we suppose He did? If He brought us through our previous trial, doesn’t it stand to reason He’ll bring us through our current trial? Not saying that God will always wave a magic wand and immediately cause our trials to disappear, but as we’re going through them, we can remind ourselves that God isn’t ignoring us. He’s not shut a deaf ear to our cries. The question we can ask ourselves, is that, while we’re going through such and such trial, do we REALLY trust that God’s grace is sufficient for us? Or is it merely lip service?

I have to confess that I ‘claimed’ that verse for myself for years. Unfortunately, it was just lip service. My actions proved such. Christ called all the ones who were weary and heaven burden to come to Him. His yoke was easy and that’s the one He wanted us to carry. (Matthew 11:28) Memory serves me correctly—I had been wearing the wrong yoke. So, yes, believe it or not, although the trial itself may have been painful, it’s a ‘good memory’ to remember the fact that even so, God was faithful. Are we going through trials now? Not to worry, one day, this current trial will become a ‘past’ trial. We can remember (although not now) at how Christ brought us through it, and how it caused us to depend on Him more strongly than before. Why not believe that same thing to our current trial?

Ugly memories: remember the times when you acted like a total blundering idiot? Me too. (A BUNCH of times....) Unfortunately, when I remember those times (mainly it’s Satan reminding me of them) I want to just shrink up and die! Did I REALLY say that hateful thing to someone??? Did I HONESTLY think I was better than so and so??? Oh Lord! Why didn’t You just give me lockjaw for just a few minutes at least!?!? So many hurt feelings would have been spared, and I wouldn’t have been a selfish old biddy to my friends. I wish I could take things back. I wish I had never said them to begin with… I wish… I wish… I wish…


What’s done is done, and no amount of wishing in the world can undo it. There are some folks that have chosen to not forgive me, and try as I might, no reconciliation will take place. Here’s where love comes in. Do I love these folks with agape love? Do I avoid them like the plague whenever I see them, because I know they still hate me? This takes a LOT of self-discipline on my part. Part of me wants to lash out at their ‘unforgiving’ attitude (after all, they’re gasp! “Christians!”) and part of me wants to turn my nose up at them (remember the Christians Pam spoke of—that’s me) for being so immature that ‘they’ cannot muster up enough forgiveness for me. And then at other times, I want to avoid them like the plague, for fear they’ll cause a scene and loudly proclaim all the stupid things I’ve done to them. These are definitely ugly memories. Again, like Paul said, we need to forget the things that are past, and press on towards the high calling. I’m learning to not focus so much on the memories, but rather, focus on how He’d have me behave through any situation—good, bad or ugly.

I hope this encourages you with your own memories. Some are worth letting go. Some are gentle reminders of where we’ve been, how God worked in our lives, and how we can grow to trust Him more with each trial we ‘grow’ through.

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Comment from: Pam [Member]
Hi Lisa,

Isn't it great how God in Christ works all of those memories good and bad to our good? Everything in us that is brought to light becomes light when we are in Christ.

What you had to say about churchianity really spoke to me. I didn't get caught up in it as a nonbeliever pretending to be a believer or thinking I was okay when I wasn't, but I still fell to it as I wanted to be accepted by all of those Christians who's families had been in church for generations. I wanted what they had. I wanted to be as pure with as perfect of families as they had. That is how churchianity nabbed me. I was there every time the doors were open and volunteered for everything that came my way until I was completely burned out and disillusioned on my way to becoming the typical statistic of a ten year tenure in church and then out. Jesus has kept me in church but now I am far removed from churchianity and I enjoy church so much more. I have also, at this point in my life, learned to truly be myself and not desire to be like others. Each of us have a unique role to play within the body of Christ and how sad it is when we allow uniformity and conformity to hide the wonderful way in which Jesus is uniquely molded into each of us. How sad to replace living Jesus with playing church but how wonderful the moment when we realize the difference!

How old are you in Christ, Lisa?

Permalink 07/21/06 @ 19:50
Comment from: lisa [Member]
Well said, Pam! It is a whole different point of view, when we realize that Jesus who lives IN us, is doing just that--LIVING! I thought for years, Jesus "saved" me, and then pretty much said, "Well, great to have you! See you when you get to heaven--holler if you need me" thereby my prayers were mainly a wish list, with an occassional 'thank you' thrown in.

Gosh, how old am I in Christ? Believe it or not--to this day, I don't know. You see, when I was ten years old, I was going to a church via church bus route. I didn't have a very warm and loving family, or at least I didn't think so, and since 'church' was what 'good' people did, and I wanted to be a 'good little girl', I opted to go to church--and loved it. Very high profile children's ministry back then. Back then I rememer hearing the term "being saved" or "get saved to go to heaven".. catch phrases like that. Well, I also heard if I DIDN'T get saved... I'd go to hell! Well, it didn't take a genius to know that place wasn't for me. But, I didn't know 'HOW' to 'be saved'.. did it cost money? I'd seen 'em pass the offering plate around. I just didn't know.

I remember one particular Sunday, the preacher asked everyone who was saved to stand up. Apparently Christians are 'saved folk" to my young understanding. I stood up. ooooo liar liar pants on fire!! I didn't want to be singled out. Anyways, services went on, and church was over, and I'd lied to God. I have to snicker when I think about it--i remember going that whole week, just BEGGING God to not let the roof fall on me, or get run over by a car, or anything like that. I PROMISED God if He'd JUST let me live until the following Sunday--I'd find out what this 'being saved' thing was about and do whatever it took--just PLEASE spare me! I bet I looked both ways before crossing the street 20 times before I'd ever cross it! LOL

Well, the next Sunday rolled around, and I made short order of asking the Sunday School teacher what it meant, and what I had to do. She took me off to another room, and showed me all the verses of how God loved me, i was a sinner, and needed a savior. All I had to do was pray?? Cool! Anyways, I said "The sinners prayer" and was told I was saved.

FWD to years later, my parents, who were at first NOT church goers, finally relinquished to going to a church nearby (mine was an hour away) simply to get rid of my children's church pastor who INSISTED on coming by every week for visitation. (I LOVE that guy-still do, bless his heart! He has always been an encouragment) Well, the church we started going to (they made me leave mine and go to 'theirs' so we'd be 'a family") this church was just beginning, and in my arrogant little mind didn't know the Bible from a hole in the ground (as opposed to me, who'd memorize TONS of scriptures)
One thing led to another, and we left that church due to gossips, finger pointings, and the like, and went to a charismatic church that seemed to be full of 'good works' people and stuff. After about 19 years of 'good work burnt out" I finally went into a chat room, where I didn't HAVE to be ANYONE.. it was in there, that someone shared the Message with me, the way GOD intended for it to be. That was about 7 years ago. Life's never been the same since.

So, in answer to your question, how old am I in the Lord?

I'm either 32 years old in Christ, or 7 years old in Christ LOL

Either way, I'm in Christ now, and I am SOOO glad He loves me enough to not leave me to my own devices LOL

Currently, I don't attend church, per sae, but I do listen to a beloved minister on Sunday mornings with a group of other folks who happen to listen to the same guy. Although we can't 'see' each other or really 'do' anything for the other one, we do yak via messengers and try to encourage one another as we listen. So far, it seems to be where God has me stationed for the time being, so I'm fine with it. I have really grown close to some of these folks too. Strange how when people have Christ as their center, that a closeness of the heart can exist, even past computer screens? I feel that way with you, too!
Permalink 07/21/06 @ 20:14
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
You sure said alot there, Lisa. It all ring true and authentic. What is yours is yours, and we can be forever thankful for the expanding vision of faith and lessons learned.

Can we say that we have arrived where others haven't by anything special about us? No, indeed. He holds us up and makes us stand ... taller then before and shorter then we will be. We want to finish well.

We want to remember just enough of the past to avoid the things that sicken our hearts, but not such a focus that we let the past steal our present. ... and I think yours is a written example of that balance.

===[Have you ever just become so active in the church scene, that you were embarrassed to admit that on in the inside you were liken unto a withered old prune?]===


Like Bob George says ... "busy and barren!"

I know what you mean.

===[Ugly memories: remember the times when you acted like a total blundering idiot? Me too. (A BUNCH of times....)]===

I don't get traumatized easily, but there are certain times in my life, where words cut deep and those scars remain, festering and ugly. I think back to grade-school when someone that I admired said a three word sentence, that still hurts: "Be cool, Trent." and I knew that I wasn't cool. That is what he meant, and that is why they laughed.

Does Jesus just rescue us from Hell-in-the-future? Or does He do more?

Does Jesus rescue from our current-hell?
I know what the current-hell is. And I find myself there from time to time.

===[To live NOW. In time, He has taught me that there is so much more to being one of His, than merely ‘not going to hell’, although that’s a nice fringe benefit. But to live NOW, and to LOVE now. ]===

There is grace from the Lord that rescues me daily from my daily-hell. So wonderful have I found this to be, I get completely bored with the subject of Jesus saving anyone from future hell. That just seems like a misdirection, something that destracts me from Him and His saving Life in the here and now. The grace to be filled in wherever we are found lacking, and strengthened wherever we are found weak.

Yeah, I'm still not cool. But, knowing that and living it and admitting it ... I can tap into how cool Jesus is. Jesus you come now and be my life ... fill me up! Live through me! No longer me, but Christ in me. How "cool" is that!

I might could convince people I was cool apart from Him, but my success would be bitter-sweet as I would need to be ever-working to maintain that cool image. To me maintaining a good image and changing a bad image is the only real daily-hell that I know. I just hate it and don't want it any more. Why focus on me and keeping up my appearance? I'm so un-cool, that I bore myself. I just want to look to Jesus. He never bores me, and when I let "Jesus come out and play?" I am not bored, and I have found that people think Jesus-in-me isn't boring either.

I think that I will blog a bit about what is the "daily hell" that Jesus saves us from ... you have inspired it, so what can I say?!?

Ripening still,

Permalink 07/22/06 @ 22:54
Comment from: lisa [Member]
Hey Trent,
Go for it, brother! I'd be interested in reading your blog of daily hell, for sure!

I hear you on being bored with being saved from 'future hell'. Yes, that is a fringe benefit, but that is SOOO minute, compared to the LIFE that Christ gives us NOW. I guess, I used to think that eternal life started when I "died and went to heaven", but it doesn't. It starts from the very second in time when I consciously accept Christ's life for my own. World of difference. It also made a world of difference in how I depended on Christ.

When the daily hell ascends upon me, that's when I remember exactly Who's in charge here. Me? Cirucmstances? Or Jesus Christ my Lord? If it's Christ, then, given how He's brought us through so many other trials, why would I not believe He'd do the same with 'this' trial?
"I must decrease, and He must increase"--to borrow John the Baptist's phrase. I want to more than anything. If that happens, then everyone is better off.
Permalink 07/23/06 @ 10:55

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