How good are your memories, personally, my memory is terrible, it seems like they are gone from me before I realize it, my wonderful wife is the memory keeper in the family. As of today, she has memorized over fifty verses in the Scriptures, along with where they are located. Incredible. I remember only the important things, the things that matter.
Each of us has what are called false memories, an account that has occurred, most generally over a long time ago, it’s remembered by us just a little differently, some of the edges have been smoothed off, perhaps something has been added that did not actually occur, the memory is corrupted. It does not seem to matter the age of the individual, young or very old, modifications have been made to the past events by us, but not always are they by choice, we cannot recall something specific within a past time frame, and so the mind fills in the blanks, as it were, the empty spaces are permeated with false impressions.
Sometimes this is a good thing, the horrific childhood is replaced with moments of happiness that never occurred, the father who was rarely around is replaced with one who enjoyed our company more than anything in the world, we modify these memories to fit our current desires. Older men remember themselves as young, virile world changers, able to take on all comers, while the gray-haired ladies recall a beauty queen who dazzled all she met. The truth of life is not always pretty, and the memories of our minds are ours to do with as we please, there are no bars upon them, no one at the gate of our consciousness to inform us of our errors, and over time these false memories will become just as real as the truth, in fact, they will become truth to us.
We frequently look at things as we desire them to be, we become blind to the truth when that truth does not fit into a standard that we would prefer it to be. The world is a sinful place, and there is nothing good in our flesh, (Rom. 7:18) and so when we have the opportunity, we modify what we see, what we hear, ten individuals on a street corner will see several different events when the accident occurs, and we do the same with our memories. What does not fit what we want to remember is modified, either to make ourselves a better person in our own recollection of the events, or in some cases, the opposite, for we refuse to see ourselves as people of character.
Most of the time these are harmless remembrances, the fish we caught was much bigger, the friends were closer than what they were in reality, items of no eternal value, but of some of these memories we must speak of now, for the Lord God does not revise His thoughts of our lives, the past is as clear to Him as the present and the future, and it is to Him that we are accountable, all that we have adjusted within our minds will be remembered perfectly, every idle word that we have spoken will be recalled, (Matt. 12:36) the past will be as clear as a sunny day, and we will be required to give an account. (Rom. 14:12)
We must then ask the question here my friends, while we still draw breath upon this planet, are our memories of our service to Christ in truth reality, or have we deceived ourselves, thinking that we have done all that we have actually done only in our minds. These memories must remain true, for they are the important ones, they cannot be modified, they cannot be altered in any way, shape or form, they must be looked at with eyes that can see, and minds that are clear. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:20) So then, the question seems to be quite clear, can you look behind you at your past, from the moment that you came to know Christ as Savior, and see in truth the fruits that have been produced through you.
Here is the juncture where many who call Christ Lord seem to stumble, for they look back at the services they believe they have provided and cannot see clearly, not because of an aged or failing mind, but because the memories that are true need to be replaced with ones that were more advantageous to them, more in tune with what they thought a Christian should be, instead of the truth of who they really were. They look back and see with hazy views the things that may have been, but in reality were not, and this is not where you want to be when that day arrives my friends. We speak not here of those who by reason of physical limitations, whether they be by accident, birth, or age are seeing incorrectly, but of those who by reason of their own free will have determined that the false past will pass as the truth, those who know, but will not adjust accordingly.
These will be shown that the hundred that they believed they witnessed to were far less than that, much less, they will have a perfect memory that those times that they felt they were relaying the truths of the Scriptures to others was nothing more than a self-serving platitude to assist themselves in feeling better about themselves, and for some, they will not see the error of their ways, their true memories, until the great white throne of judgement. There is a true humility that accompanies the born-again believer who has chosen to recall their lives as they truly were, a humbleness that constantly reminds them that it is the Holy Spirit of God that has enabled them accomplish what has been accomplished through them, and that each time they fell off the path, it was of their own free will.
It is our pride that that keeps us from desiring to see the truths about ourselves when it comes not only to this temporal world, but in our service to the Lord. Each individual we know must not be allowed to see that we have faults, that we are unable to stand without the assistance of Christ, that we are doing His will is our desire for them to see, whether we are or not. If we did not seek the praise of men, if we would look at ourselves as we really are, sheep in need of a Shepherd, we would gladly look at our lives and say, “If it were not for Christ, I could do nothing.” There is no need to hide from ourselves, how could doing so possibly avail us to any end, does not the Lord God know our every thought, (Psalm 94:11) is not His memory perfect, can we hide anything from the One who is everywhere. This subject is more important than I can relay to you my friends, we are talking about the possibility of those who believe themselves to be saved, but are not, to those who see themselves as servants of the Most High God, when in fact they are far from Him. Those who truly are saved, those whose names are securely written in the Lambs Book of Life, will find that their memories were incorrect too late, for our service is here, and the rewards are there.
Take a look back frequently at your life my friends, look back often with clear eyes, make sure that you are on the path, that your destination is secure in Christ, there will be no chance to change the past when we have nothing but eternity before us. Your true memories are easy to find, they reside right beside your heart.
“Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.” (Psalm 25:7)