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Managing Your Memories and Guarding Your Heart

Memories are like roads. We can choose which roads to travel and which ones to avoid.  Philippians 4:8, 9 says:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Paul is saying, “Meditate on these things.” He is urging us to meditate on the truth of God and to plant it deep in our hearts and minds. Allow Jesus Christ to renew your mind each day, and ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to thoughts that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5), and if it is dark, lonely, bitter, or hurtful, throw it out! Those thoughts are of no use to you.

My wife Sarah and I know it’s not easy, but we can also tell you that when we do this—when we meditate on the things Paul writes about in these verses, when we listen to the Comforter and refuse to go places in our hearts that are off-limits—there is healing.

We need to manage our memories and guard our heart (Proverbs 4:23) and let the Holy Spirit steer us down the right roads. We can’t be looking back at who our son Josiah was. We have to live in the now. We need to choose spiritual roads, not emotional ones. Doing so helps us to have hope and helps us to give hope to others.

Doing this will help you, too. Living in the now helps us understand that Josiah’s still alive, and it helps us see that what he’s accomplished through people’s lives carries with it a powerful legacy. Living in the now and managing our memories is not about living in denial. It is about realizing what we need to think about.

What road are you on? Are you on the road of God’s hope? Or the dark road of bitterness? What helps you to live in the now despite your pain and suffering? Do you have a story of how God has transformed your mind and helped you choose the spiritual road? We’d love to hear about your journey.

One response to “Managing Your Memories and Guarding Your Heart”

  1. Todd O says:

    When I was 19, my brother (who I was extremely close to) passed away after a long, painful battle with cancer. Within 4 months my dad also passed away. I was not a believer at the time, so the despair, bitterness & pain I experienced caused my life to spiral out of control. The world offers many things to try to escape these feelings, & I tried most of them. Year after year I lived this, alternating between outright rage against a god I didn’t even know, to a simple cry for it to be over (by any means necessary). Then I had a Matthew 4:16 moment: “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned”! A girl I had met started sharing the love of Christ with me, and a light had dawned. I started reading God’s Word, and found some of the answers I was looking for, while at the same time realizing the other answers I didn’t find strangely were no longer important. The ultimate truth though for me came from John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. I realized with this word I had literally been a slave to despair, pain, and bitterness. With the freedom Jesus brought to my life though, they no longer had power over me. I was truly FREE indeed when I allowed Christ & his redemptive power into my life, accepted that God is sovereign, and stood on the promise that in all things He works for the good of those who love Him! (Romans 8:28) He brings a healing & freedom that no other worldly solution can touch.