Forgiving – and forgetting

I, even I, am he that blottest out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Isaiah 43:25

Thinking about footwashing and communion, I was pondering the idea of forgiveness today. What is so amazing about God is not even the fact that He forgives us, but the fact that He then forgets. He doesn’t see our transgressions blinking like a neon light in the background every time He looks at us. He doesn’t think, “There’s that sinner again, worshipping me.” No, He means it when He says He will forgive us our sins. They’re not just shoved aside temporarily; they are forever gone. It’s as if they didn’t exist in the first place.

It’s funny that we have such a hard time believing it. We want to bring it back up, thinking that our sins are too big to be so easily forgotten. We all do it. But by doing so, we’re belittling the price He paid to erase them. I also think, though, that sometimes we refuse to let ourselves be forgiven so we have an excuse to fall back on. “I didn’t go to church Sunday, but let’s face it, I’m
a sinner. I can’t do everything right.” “God won’t expect me to live up to His high standards — I was born with sin, so of course He will understand when I mess up. It’s inevitable.” It’s like we think He’s up there winking at our purposeful “mistakes.” Here’s the problem with that: accepting His forgiveness is an important way for us to show the Lord that we trust Him. That we believe His word. That we acknowledge the tremendous price He paid to release us from that sin, and that we understand the inestimable value of His life and the eternal life He has promised to us.

So, the next time I need to forgive someone in my life, it is my prayer that I will truly be able to forgive and forget. That I will honor that someone with the gift of my trust. That I will believe what they say. That I will acknowledge the sacrifice it took for him or her to apologize, and that I will not get in the way of the blessings waiting for both of us as we try to live as Christ would live.

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