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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Be Selective In Memory: Focus on the Good Times

In review of Philippians 1:5 it says, “I thank God for the help you gave me while I preached the Good News—help you gave from the first day you believed until now”

Bottom Line:
Thank God for the help that is provided

What this means to me:
I should remember thank God for those who help me in spreading the good news. They have been faithful from the day they first heard this until now.

One thing that is true for me is in developing an attitude of gratitude, as it does not come naturally. It seems my default nature is to be discontented. Always wanting more or something different.

In the book of Philippians, I see Paul writing to the church that he started in Philippi, where a woman named Lydia opened up her home and, along with others, and welcomed Paul to the city. The Philippian church even helped fund Paul’s missionary journeys. In Philippians 1:5a, Paul says, “I thank God for the help you gave me” (NCV).

Interestingly enough, Paul didn’t have a good time in Philippi. In fact, it was one of his toughest churches to get started. When Paul went to this city to start a church, he was beaten, whipped, humiliated, falsely arrested, thrown into prison, and survived an earthquake. Then, he was politely asked by the city leaders to leave town.

Yet Paul told the believers, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God” (Philippians 1:3 NLT).

Amidst all of this Paul is choosing selective memory. Philippi was not a happy place for Paul, and he endured a lot of persecution and suffering during his time in that city. But he chose not to dwell on painful memories and instead expressed his gratitude for the good things that God had done.

The longer we know someone, the more likely we are to take that person for granted and to look for faults and remember the bad things instead of the good things.

I should consider today if I am still reliving painful memories with some people in my life? Perhaps, I’ve never let them off the hook. If so, I won’t be able to enjoy the relationship because I’m still holding on to the past.

My memories are a choice. If I want to hold onto painful memories, I can. But in doing so, I’m not going to be happy! Paul had a lot of reasons to have painful memories of Philippi. Instead, he made the choice to be grateful for the people in his life and the work God was doing in and through them. As I do the same, I’m certain that God will bless my relationships.

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