Have you ever been in a situation where someone accuses you of saying or doing things that you are convinced you never did, or at least not the way someone else is now portraying it? This is the cause of great division and the source of many relationship breakdowns.

Most people accept that their memory isn’t perfect, but few realize just how imperfect it actually is. Modern neuroscience and psychology have proven that we all labor under the burden having false memories. And even more problematic is that as time goes on people believe they are more certain of details and clearer on the details of the events, whereas we would think that the opposite would happen, that as time goes on the details would be more fuzzy in our minds.

What neuroscience has found is that every time we access the memory of an event we actually reinforce it and build a larger neuro-pathway in our brain. The problem is that when we are highly emotional, such as is the case in many relationship breakdowns, our perception decreases and we do not perceive the event accurately. The seeds of a false memory are sown in all the participants’ minds, but as time marches on we all become more and more convinced that our position is the right one, especially given the clarity of our “memory.”

It comes as no surprise that God knew this so He prescribed a few things that we can do to prevent this type of thing. One is stay humble to the fact that you are not 100% correct in the way you remember things. Two, ask for and extend forgiveness knowing you have probably erred too. Lastly, in all matters of great importance, make sure there are two or more witnesses present so you can access the collective memory of all present to keep things straight. I can’t help but think that if everyone practiced this we would have a lot less division and relationship breakdowns.