By Andrea Merrell
And I will forgive their wickedness,
and I will never again remember their sins.
Hebrews 8:12 NLT
“I might forgive them, but I’ll NEVER forget what they did!”
How many times have you heard someone say this? Maybe you’ve said it yourself. I know there have been times in my life when people and situations caused me to think that way.
Mental and emotional wounds go deep. Betrayal—especially by a trusted friend—cuts to the core of our being and lodges there. The Bible says we are to forgive in order to be forgiven. Yet, even when we can manage to offer forgiveness, sometimes the memories of the pain float to the surface when we least expect it. So, what’s the answer? How do we “forget” the offence?
God says, And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins. Never? Seriously? Does God have a bad memory? Is He forgetful? Is His mind so full—trying to keep up with all the messes His kids have made—that He just can’t keep track of everything?
NO! Absolutely not.
God tells us He will forget our sins. It is His decision. He chooses not to remember, dwell on, or rehearse our failures and shortcomings. He chooses to put those things securely under the shed blood of Jesus … which is where they belong. When we refuse to forget the sins of others—and our own sins—and continue to rehash the gory details, we are actually questioning God’s mercy and the truth of His Word. We also give the enemy ammunition to attack us with guilt and condemnation. One writer says, “When you keep rehearsing your past, you not only keep it alive; you empower it. What you keep on deposit, you’re more likely to withdraw and act on in a moment of weakness.”
When we mess up or someone offends us, we must make a choice to forgive. The good news is that we can also choose to forget.
Bottom line? Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Don’t hold on to the past. Make a decision to forget and let it go—once and for all. You were created to walk in God’s mercy, grace, and freedom. Why not start today?
(Photos courtesy of Freedigitalphotos, Stuart Miles, and jesadaaphorn.)
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