I don’t like to admit it but my memory is not as good as I would like it to be. It seems to serve me well some days but on other days I suffer from something that I refer to as “CRS” or “can’t remember stuff.” Perhaps you have had a bout or two of “CRS” yourself. If so you know it is unpredictable and annoying. Why, because we want to remember what is important to us. When we can't it can be downright frustrating.
I was reflecting on the subject of forgiveness recently and came to an interesting conclusion. God, our Heavenly Father, has “CRS”, too. But guess what? He has it on purpose.
Why do I say this? Because, according to Scripture, along with forgiving us of all our sins—He FORGETS. Not unintentionally but rather intentionally. The Bible says that He throws our sins as far from us as the east is from the west AND remembers them no more. What a powerful image. Can you see it in your mind’s eye? If not, you are not alone. Many of us get tangled up right here. In this area of life we get STUCK.
Sometimes we find that we have gotten to the place where we are able to genuinely forgive. Yet we find that the next time the person (s) does something that has a negative impact on our life a tape starts rolling and all the things that they have ever done, that bothered us, are played back in our mind. We may try to stuff our feelings, knowing right from wrong, yet because we have been injured we constantly wonder just when that person will hurt us again.
Often times this causes us to take cover or go into hiding. That is a trick of the enemy, as he wants to perpetuate unforgiveness in our hearts. By isolating us from others he has plenty of time to talk to us or should I say plenty of time to lie to us. He tells us that though God said that we will be forgiven in the same measure that we forgive others He (God) never said we need to forget.
When we listen to the devil’s lies rather than reflecting the example of God we find ourselves dealing with lots of pain and scars which seem to ever be before us. This is because we have missed the second element of the kind of forgiveness that God offers us and that is FORGETTING.
Many times we say that we must forgive but do not need to forget. Some have said they cannot afford to forget but I believe that in reality we cannot afford to continue to remember. Yet many of us have not allowed the Holy Spirit to work in our lives regarding this matter.
Today do you have complaint against someone? Perhaps it is a small offense, or maybe it is something very large and burdensome. It is time to throw that load off of you. What was not your problem initially will be if you do not learn that forgiveness is a two-part act. We must forgive and forget intentially.
You may be reading these words and already feel yourself shutting down thinking there is no way that you can do this. You are right. You cannot do this alone. It requires a work of the Holy Spirit and total honesty and willingness on our part. For us to be free from the pain that others have inflicted upon us requires a trip to the sea. That same sea that our worst sins were thrown into is the place where we must go and toss the many wrongs that have been done to us.
If we will respect the “no fishing” sign that The Father already posted there then true forgiveness will transpire. Talk about a sense of freedom—you will feel as free as the wind. Unforgiveness is bondage and God wants His people to be free. If you are holding unforgiveness in your heart or have been unable to forget the pain once inflicted upon you, today is a good day to call on God to help you. Or the next time you blow it and need to ask for forgiveness think about that person you are unable to fully forgive. Is it really worth it to hold on to that pain? Your own forgiveness depends on it and your happiness does too.
Don’t just forgive…forget it too.
(Isaiah 43:25; Psalm 103:12; Micah 7:19)