Pastor Ron E. Thompson: Forget It!

Pastor Ron E. Thompson

About this time every year as we ring out the old and ring in the new there is an occasion when we briefly look back past the previous 365 days and evaluate our progress. The media is given over to an assessment of the political, economic, and cultural happenings of 2022. There are numerous tragedies, disasters, and incidents we would just as soon forget. The real value in remembering them at all is to learn from our past mistakes and to take steps to do better in the new year. If you are not a Christian this new year, 2023, I would urge you to begin it by inviting Christ into your heart and life. He will in turn bury your sins as far as the east is from the west and forget about them (Psalm 103:12). The Bible warns us who are believers that there are some things we ought to forget. The apostle Paul put it this way: “I do one thing. I forget everything that is behind me and look forward to that which is ahead of me. My eyes are on the crown. I want to win the race and get the crown of God’s call from heaven through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 NEV). I can think of at least three areas in life that we ought to forget.

  1. Forget the successes you have enjoyed. The victories God has given us, the glories that have been ours, the good we have accomplished, are better left forgotten in the past!Paul says in Philippians 3:7 that whatever gains he had he counted them as loss for Christ. The Lord Jesus taught that we should not let our left hand know what our right hand is doing in the matter of our stewardship (Matthew 6:3). Why is this so? Because the Father who sees in secret will reward us openly (Matthew 6:4). The children of Israel were so enamored with the fish, melons, and onions of Egypt that they grew tired of the manna God had provided. Do not let previous triumphs and victories spoil your appetite for what God has for you right now and in this new year before us. A poet has written these words:
    Forget each kindness that you do
    As soon as you have done it.
    Forget the praise that falls to you
    As soon as you have won it.
  1. Forget the sins God has forgotten. Evangelist D.L. Moody used to say: “God has put our sins not only where we cannot see them: He has put them where He cannot see them.” And if God has already forgiven and forgotten about them, why shouldn’t we? An unwillingness to forgive ourselves will hinder our forgiveness of others and stifle our witness for Christ. Hebrews 12:1 NLT reminds us to “put everything out of our lives that keeps us from doing what we should. Let us keep running in the race that God has planned for us.” Our progress and growth in Christ in 2023 will be hindered if we cherish some pet sin instead of giving it to our Savior.
  1. Forget the slights you have suffered. Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, suffered much criticism, but bore it bravely and patiently. One day she was reminded of a particularly mean thing that had been done to her. “Surely you remember that don’t you, Clara!” “No” she replied, “I distinctly remember forgetting that!” Noted pastor Charles Spurgeon once remarked: “Pray for a short memory as to all unkindnesses.”
    We thank Thee, Lord for memory
    To live again the past.
    That in remembering bygone days
    The fruits of joy shall last.
    But for the power to forget
    We thank Thee even more:
    The stings, the slights, the hurts, the wounds
    Can never hurt us more.

The Christian race that God has set before each of us this new year will not be won by looking back to past successes, shortcomings, or slights. The victory can only be ours as we reach forth unto those things that are before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2 KJV). My prayer for each of us in 2023 is that we will, like King David, lift up our eyes unto Him from whence cometh our help; like Abraham, trust implicitly in God’s guidance; like Enoch, walk daily in fellowship with the Lord; like Daniel, commune in prayer with God regularly; like Caleb and Joshua, refuse to be discouraged, like Timothy, study the Word of God, and like Job, be patient under all circumstances. May God bless and help us to forget as well as remember this Happy New Year 2023!

Pastor Ron E Thompson

Ron E. Thompson is a retired pastor/evangelist having had a ministry spanning over sixty years. He served as pastor of churches in Indiana, Virginia, Arizona, and South Carolina. As Director of Brethren Evangelistic Ministries, he held numerous evangelistic and revival crusades in twenty-two states. He led a team that conducted evangelism seminars throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Ron is author of two books: Hurricane Evangelism and Sermons in Song. He is also a musician, having studied piano under noted composer-conductor, Hubert Tillery. Music has served him well as an avocation in his life and ministry. He currently is a pianist at the Fountain of Life Bible Church in Johnson City, TN. Ron received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bridgewater College and his Master of Divinity degree from Grace Theological Seminary. He did graduate studies at Wheaton College and the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. He attended the North American Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in1994. Ron’s home is in Limestone, Tennessee. He is the father of two daughters: Evangeline Hales, a musician at Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA and violinist with the Lynchburg Symphony; Dr. Melody Archer, Retired Administrator and Principal of Tri-Cities Christian Schools, Blountville, TN.

Related Articles

Back to top button

Please disable ad blocker.

We work hard to write our articles and provide you with the content you enjoy. The ads on the site allow us to continue our work while feeding our families. If you'd please whitelist our site in your ad blocker or remove your ad blocker altogether, we'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you!