“Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil” (Genesis 41:51).
Some things should be forgotten. Joseph could have wasted his life dwelling on the injustices he suffered. As a youth, his brothers sold him into slavery, and he was forced to live in a hostile land. He had to spend his teenage and adult years away from his beloved father. Joseph even spent time in prison. In spite of all he endured, he harbored no resentment. In fact, he named his son Manasseh, which means “forgetting.”
The result of “forgetting” past hurts is illustrated in the life of Pastor William Sangster. A guest who had come to spend the Christmas holidays with Sangster was watching him address the last of his greeting cards. One of the names on the list startled the friend. “Surely you are not sending a card to him,” he said. “Why not?” the preacher asked. “Don’t you remember what he said about you?” Sangster replied that he only remembered a resolution he made at that time. He had determined that with God’s help he would forget about the man’s cutting remark. The card was sent as planned.
Yes, some things need to be dropped from the Christian’s memory. He shouldn’t harbor wrongs done to him. He must not let some unkind word keep him from maturing in Christ as he should. And he should never use another’s insensitivity as his excuse for not serving the Lord.
Are there things in your past that you need to forgive and forget? It is far better to forgive and forget than to resent and remember.
—D.C.E., Our Daily Bread