What to Do When a Memory of Sin Paralyzes You

What to Do When a Memory of Sin Paralyzes You by Jason Meyer  for The Gospel Coalition

I’ve been married for 19 years, and I have many happy memories with my wife. Cara is my best friend by far. We especially enjoy looking back and reliving some of our favorite dates together.

One treasured memory is the time I found out she once dreamed about being in the Air Force. By that point in our relationship, I had learned to plan dates we would both enjoy rather than dates only I would enjoy—no extra charge for that little piece of advice. One of my close friends was a pilot, and I asked him if he could take us flying. He delivered in a big way. He flew us to a nearby regional airport, I took her to a Mexican restaurant, and he flew us back. I have a picture of Cara and me standing next to the plane, and we both have beaming smiles. I love to look at that picture and relive the date.

Memories can be a precious gift that allow us to enjoy the same event multiple times. But our memories can also be a curse.

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Curse of Memory

One of the most painful moments of my life came during premarital counseling. I tearfully told Cara (my fiancée at that time) about some of my past pornography usage. By God’s grace, porn was no longer a problem in my life, but it was an issue in my past. I wanted her to know the truth about my old struggle, and I earnestly desired her forgiveness for that sin. I will never forget seeing the pain etched on her face. She freely forgave me, but it was a heart-wrenching for both of us.

For several days, I struggled to apply the gospel to my situation. I wanted to beat myself up. I remembered the pain on Cara’s face, and I replayed it in my mind over and over. I raked myself over the coals again and again for the bad choices I’d made years before.

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