The Lists You Need To Forget

| December 6, 2018

Do you rely on lists to remember what you need to get or do? Do you need a list to keep track of your lists? Many of us would be lost without our lists, but I propose that even more people are crippled because of them.

I was a prisoner of my own lists for decades, but I’m here to tell you how Jesus set me free.

And if you let Him, He’ll do the same for you.

My List of Lists

Here is a sample of the list of lists that I carried around for decades.

People Who

My Experiences Were

My Actions Were

Rejected me

Hurt me

Spoke harshly to me

Frightened me

Abandoned me

Treated me rudely

Unfair

Undeserved

Scary

Painful

Disappointing

Mistakes

Failures

Shortcomings

Here’s another set of lists. Given the lists above, I’ll tell you exactly what I received and accomplished.

Relationships were

Feelings of

My identity

Destroyed

Awkward

Tense

Stifled

Snuffed out

Antagonistic

Self-pity

The victim

Anxiety

Apprehension

Depression

I’ll never get it right

I’ll never accomplish anything

I”m not good enough

 

My mind was a tornado and my heart was a black hole. But I eventually figured out Who could calm the storm and light my way.

God’s Take On Lists

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NLT (emphasis mine)

God is love. So that means…

God is patient and kind. God is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. God does not demand His own way. God is not irritable, and He keeps no record of being wronged.

Mankind is made in God’s image and we have the mind of Christ. So that means… (Watch this… I love this trick…!)

Victoria is patient and kind. Victoria is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Victoria does not demand her own way. Victoria is not irritable, and she keeps no record of being wronged.

Jesus taught us that the Law of the New Covenant is the Law of Love. The most important commandment is to love God, love others, and love ourselves. We are also given a very clear picture of what love looks like throughout the Bible. Love doesn’t keep lists of wrongs, therefore, by doing so, we are breaking God’s single most important law of the entire Bible.

Keeping lists as I did is a sin. It doesn’t matter how justified it may be; there are no asterisks in the Bible leading to notable exceptions to the Law of the New Covenant.

But How….?

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5 NKJV

God loves us so much, that He sent His only Son to pry these lists from us. We just need to release them and quit taking them back.

I’d heard this all of my life and thought it was a lovely, theological sentiment. I understood the concept that I had to let it all go, but I had no idea how. Furthermore, I most certainly didn’t feel it in my heart because I knew I had just cause for the way I felt.

I also knew I was not the woman God wanted me to be. When all my own bright ideas failed, I finally cried to God in prayer. He helped me find ways to leave my lists at the cross where they belonged.

“My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover my sin.” Job 14:17 NIV

Really? You can just seal it up in a bag? Yes, you can. If you don’t feel it your heart, pray for God’s help to change your heart. He already knows your heart anyway; it’s not like you can fake it with Him. Be assured that God is always faithful to those who pray according to His will.

6 Concrete Ways To Leave It All At The Cross

I have literally written down these lists in historically accurate detail, and sought various ways to let it go in a concrete way.  Here are some suggestions of things I’ve done, and other ideas to inspire you.

1.) Write list in a prayer journal as a diary entry to God. Tell Him that you release, forgive, forget, and give it all to Him, never to take it back.

2.) Burn the list.

3.) Run it through the shredder.

4.) Bury it.

5.) Draw a big cross on a piece of paper, and write your list on the cross. Get a big, thick black Sharpie and write something like “FORGIVEN”, “FORGOTTEN”, or “LIES” across the entire page.

6.) Throw the list in the toilet. You can even drop it in the water just before you sit down if it brings you satisfaction! Just don’t forget to flush with words of prayer and thanksgiving!

Closing List Of Lists…

When your ceremony is concluded, it’s time to make new lists to begin living with a renewed heart. I can only live in this renewal through prayer and scripture. Some of the topics I focus on include: Who God is, who He says I am, forgiveness, my thoughts, and my words. I’d like to share just two more lists of lists before I close.

Here is a sample of the list of lists that Jesus suffered and died to give us.

He was wounded so we are

His blood means all is

His was whipped for our

Rejected me

Hurt me

FORGIVEN

Frightened me

Abandoned me

Treated me rudely

Unfair

Undeserved

FORGOTTEN

Scary

Painful

Disappointing

Mistakes

Failures

PEACE

Given the lists above, I’ll tell you exactly what I received and accomplished.

Relationships that were

Feelings of

My identity

Destroyed

Awkward

RESTORED

Stifled

Snuffed out

Antagonistic

Self-pity

Victim mindset

THANKSGIVING

Apprehension

Depression

You’ll never get it right

You’ll never accomplish anything

HIS CHOSEN CHILD

 

Are you holding onto lists that you need to forget? What do you think you might do with your list?

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16 Comments

  • Reply Stephanie December 6, 2018 at 6:10 am

    This was so refreshingly good. Love it. Love it.

  • Reply Heather Hart December 6, 2018 at 8:52 am

    I love the way Jesus transformed your lists. I totally need my daily to-do lists, but sometimes I need the reminder that God is God of my days, and His will will be done. His timing is more important than my lists.
    Heather Hart recently posted…Beloved Devotional

  • Reply Erin December 6, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I love this illustration and perspective. When we can identify and address these things, God is able to use us greatly.
    Erin recently posted…When I die…

    • Reply Victoria Grace December 6, 2018 at 6:49 pm

      Hi Erin, I couldn’t agree more. It’s always amazing to see how much more God can use me when I swap my lists for His will. The other side of the coin is that it’s also a shocking reminder to see just how much my own stubbornness prevents Him from using me.
      Victoria Grace recently posted…Record: Losing the Rap Sheet (1 Cor 13:4-5)

  • Reply JJ @ Chickening IN December 6, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I love the new lists that include Jesus! Beautiful visual of what God does for us.

  • Reply Susan Evans December 6, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    If we can release all of these negative experiences and feelings to God, He can help us to be free and loved. No human needs to love us. The love of Jesus is so far beyond what any human can give.
    Susan Evans recently posted…Unique Box of Holiday Treats

  • Reply tiffany Montgomery December 7, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Love the idea to run it through the shower! So creative. I have burned so many lists… it is very freeing!
    tiffany Montgomery recently posted…How to Keep Joy at Christmas Time with Anxiety & Ptsd

  • Reply Sheila Rhodes December 7, 2018 at 8:34 am

    The enemy loves it when we consider ourselves less than who God created us to be. This is why it is very important to guard our hearts and minds. I’ve been that person who has been a victim of the list and I appreciate this beautiful reminder of Jesus’ love for me.
    Sheila Rhodes recently posted…How to Find True Joy in the Christmas Season

  • Reply Jennifer King December 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    I am a list person too, but I’ve never really thought about the kinds of lists you’ve included here. I’ve got some thinking and writing to do now, I’m sure I’ve got lists like that rattling around in my mind. Thank you for this post, Victoria, and the concrete ways to leave it at the cross that you included!

    • Reply Victoria Grace December 8, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Jennifer, I’m really glad that God has prompted you to give Him some of your lists and that you desire to obey. I pray that you will be able to find freedom in leaving your lists with Jesus.
      Victoria Grace recently posted…Record: Losing the Rap Sheet (1 Cor 13:4-5)

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