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Jeremiah 31:31-40
I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins (Jeremiah 31:34).

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Read Psalm 103:1-22 to discover how God has forgiven us. How can we apply this to the forgiving of others?

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While forgetting is an obstacle to forgiveness, is there an opposite danger in dwelling on the offense? How can you tell if remembering a sin has morphed into unhealthy brooding?

Sergei said to his pastor, “It’s been 2 years since Danica cheated on me, and I still can’t get past the hurt. Some days I think I’ve moved on, but the pain is always lurking beneath the surface, ready to explode in the most unexpected moments. We can be having dinner in a restaurant, and sorrow and anger washes over me and I feel that I despise her. How can I forgive if I can’t forget?”

The pastor stated that it’s impossible to forget what Danica did, because she mattered to Sergei. “Have you ever apologized to someone,” he said, “only to learn that the person didn’t remember you or what you had done? There is nothing worse than realizing you are so inconsequential that your sin didn’t even register. So it’s a good sign that Danica’s affair bothers you.”

Sergei pressed, “But doesn’t the Bible say that forgiveness requires forgetting? Doesn’t God forget our sins?”

“If by forgetting you mean that God no longer knows what we have done, then No!” responded his pastor. “It is impossible for God not to know everything that has happened or will happen. When God says He ‘will never again remember their sins’ or that ‘He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west’ (Psalm 103:12), He means He no longer holds our sins against us. He remembers what we have done, and His forgiveness is the richer for it. Because you love Danica and her sin cuts so deep, your forgiveness won’t be a one-off event. Every time you remember what she did, you will need to release her moral debt. But as you fight for forgiveness, you will realize that you are fighting for her, and she will become more precious to you.

“Forgiveness requires that we remember and release. We can’t forgive what we forget.”

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Exodus 32:1-29

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5 Responses to “forgive and forget?”

  1. bluefigtoast says:

    Spot on. Forgiveness does NOT imply, forgetting.

    It means that we do NOT hold someone’s past, against them. That is very difficult to do sometimes.

    Recently, I was the victim of identify theft. I was naturally angry, and wanted vengeance.

    I had to realise that justice is not always meted out in this world. But we can be certain that it doesn’t escape God’s judgement.

    It is hard for us humans to leave our desire for vengeance at the foot of the cross, where it belongs. (Romans 12:19)

    Wayno

    • jimgroberts says:

      Peter asked Jesus “..how many times should I forgive, 7 times?” Jesus reply is 7 x 70 [Mat 21:15]. Humanly speaking this is impossible if we keep record. That is why Paul writing to the Corinthians states “It [agape love] is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
      This is only possible because we like Jesus on the cross of sufferings say “forgive them for they know not what they are doing”.
      If we keep record then we have made ourselves judge of the person and Jesus calls to us and says “He who has not sinned cast the first stone”. That is why Paul humbled himself and said “I am the worst of all sinners”. We to should be humble and towards other believers see them as better than us and of the unbeliever understand that they are under Satan’s control not knowing what they do.
      Perfect love covers a multitude of sins. Depend only n God and have His Peace that guards your heart and mind in all situations. Remember when evil King Ahab repented God forgave him and praised him holding no record of his evil deeds as He also did with Job when he repented. See your fellow man as Christ sees them who suffered and died for them. This takes unconditional love. Bury those sins that have been forgiven – don’t keep record for Satan will haunt you with them.

  2. 44grampian says:

    Today’s reading was very comforting.

    • asb68 says:

      Yes, today’s words are very comforting. I’ve been struggling for a while with forgiving a couple of people that have hurt me dearly. I’ve been praying the strength and wisdom to forgive and let the hurt go…

  3. mike wittmer says:

    asb68:

    I don’t know what they did or if this has already happened, but I think it will be hard to let this go until you talk to them and tell them that they hurt you. If they repent and own what they did it will become much easier to forgive them. If they don’t, then all you can do is leave the vengeance to God, and pray for the strength to not bear a grudge. Forgiveness is perhaps the most difficult thing we’ll ever do, and we often need to do it more than once. I’ll pray for an appropriate level of reconciliation.

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