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June 2, 2017

June 2, 2017

"Selective Memory:  Focus on
the Good Times"

“I thank God for the help you gave me.”  Philippians 1: 5a NCV

Developing an attitude of gratitude takes work.  We are not, by nature grateful people, but discontented.  We always want more or something different.  Think, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”  

Our verse is from the book of Philippians.  A woman named Lydia had opened up her home and, along with others, welcomed Paul to the city.  The church in Philippi had been the only church that had offered support to Paul in his missionary journeys.  

As you read our verse you may have thought the Philippians were great people.  But Paul’s time in Philippi was not easy.  This was one of his most difficult churches to get started.  He was beaten, whipped, humiliated, falsely arrested, thrown into prison and survived an earthquake.  After all that, he was politely, but firmly, asked by the city leaders to leave town.  

Yet, he says every time he thinks of them he gives thanks to God.  How could he possibly?  He is choosing selective memory.  Philippi was not the happy place to vacation.  He endured a lot of persecution and suffering, but he chose not to remember or dwell on those things; instead, expressing gratitude for the good things that God had done through the people of Philippi.

When you’re friends with someone for a long time it’s easy to remember the difficult times.  When you do that you're dwelling in the past.  Memories are a choice.

You can choose to forget the bad ones and remember the good ones.  When you do that developing an attitude of gratitude is much simpler.

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don