I wanted to go in a little more detail about how we truly know we're free from past memories that haunt us.
God created our mind with the ability to remember for several reasons. One of which is to use as a teaching tool. We're to remember what God's done in the past, so we can trust Him in the future. Memories from our childhood can help us know what kind of parents we want to be (or not be). Good memories give us hope and joy when we're facing tough times. Bad memories teach us about spiritual warfare and how to combat the enemies lies with God's truth. All throughout the Bible God is telling us to "remember something"...
- Remember the Sabbath & keep it holy"
- Remember the Passover and teach it to your children, and your children's children
- Remember the Covenant He's made with His people
- Remember Communion - "Do this in Remembrance of Me"
As usual, the devil tries to counterfit everything the Lord does, so he wants to remind us of some things as well. He wants us to remember our sins, past failures, negative words spoken to us and over us, hurt and pain inflicted on us by others either intentionally or unintentionally, and everytime we felt rejected, humiliated, insecure or inadequate. He constantly brings these memories before us in hopes that we'll meditate on them. He wants to gain a foothold by building up anger, resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness. The last thing he wants for us to do is take these situations, with every negative memory and leave it on the cross where Jesus paid the price for it.
So how do we throw out the bad and keep the good?
The key is replacing the lies of the enemy with God's truth.
Rom. 12:2 says "do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind".
When negative thoughts and memories bombard my mind, instead of taking them in and meditating on it, I will apply God's truth and reject the lie. As memories of past failures and bad experiences flood my mind threatening to bring condemnation, I'll confess and personalize the Scriptures that talk about who I am in Christ and how God views me.
One way you can test if you're truly free from past memories haunting you is when you can think about the situation without it stirring up any emotions or pain. If you remember something and it brings up the hurt, like peeling a scab that leaves a fresh wound all over again, that's a clue that you haven't truly laid that situation on the cross and left it there.
An important thing to understand is that being free from bad memories doesn't mean you don't remember the details anymore. The old saying "time heals all wounds" is not true. Time and distance may dim your memory some, but not always. I still remember my past in detail - it's just now I see it through the eyes of one who's been forgiven and sin has no hold on me!
So, let's sanctify our memories not by trying to forget, but by carrying our past to the cross and leaving it with Jesus.