Saturday, March 20, 2010

Forgiving AND Forgetting

Have you ever found yourself repeatedly asking God’s forgiveness for the same sin?  Sometimes it is very hard for a woman to forgive herself for the sins of her past. We lose our joy even though we know what the Bible says about God’s wonderful forgiveness:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 8:12

So why do we find it so hard to quit reminding God how badly we have behaved?

The Lord brought this home to me in a very personal way.  Once upon a time, someone I especially love hurt me profoundly.  Okay, you’re all wondering who it was, and guessing it was my husband. Okay, you’re right, it was. He’s a good man, and I love him. He was oblivious to my feelings in this situation and he really didn’t mean to hurt me. But for days I cried in secret, actually grieving, and my heart felt like it had been ripped open. Because I knew that I was being overly sensitive, and because I knew he didn’t mean what he said, I tried to keep my pain to myself. I resolved not to mention the offending words even though I felt he had bludgeoned me with them. My anger and indignation was gone; I was read to forgive. I had forgiven him. But long after my hormonal over-sensitivity was gone, my heart was still bleeding profusely. I cried to the Lord; the pain was still there.  And I was trying, with God’s help, to forget the whole thing.

One day, what started out to be a casual conversation evolved into a pouring out of my heart.  All the tears I had kept back suddenly gushed out, and so did my accusation.  When he knew what he had done, my dear husband felt like so much scum. “I’m so sorry,” he told me, “That was a terrible, awful thing for me to say. I am soooo sorry!”  I felt a million times better after coming clean with my hurt feelings. Suddenly my heart was healed (99%) and I felt like myself again. Life was all better.  And I loved him more than ever!

For several days, out of the blue, my husband would say, “I am so sorry I hurt you like that. Please just punch me, or something!  I feel so bad!”  I didn’t want to hit him.  I wanted to forget the whole thing.  As long as he didn’t say anything more to me about it, I was reasonably happy. But his apologies kept reminding me, rubbing salt into the wound of my heart.

Suddenly the thought came to me, This is what it’s like when I tell God that I’m sorry for the same sin over and over again!  Jesus Christ forgave me at Calvary!  Why won’t I let him forget?  I now had a new resolve.  I would let go of my sins and completely accept God’s love and forgiveness, as well as his “forgetfulness”!

Again, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.

"All" is all, and that is all that "all" will ever mean!

Knowing our sins are GONE is a wonderful source of joy for the Christian.  Believe the God who loves you when he says, "It is finished.  I forgive you."


  1. Sometimes I am so fried that I can't remember if I asked for forgiveness from God for something...isn't that freaky? So just to make sure, I ask Him to forgive my lack of a memory and then to forgive me for whatever-it-was. I imagine Him shaking His head and chuckling at me. ;-)

  2. Now, if I can just remember that as well as I remember snubs, slights and silly arguments, I will be a better person. I do enjoy the the idea of God having a good sense of humor over our foibles.

    Well written!

  3. Been there, done that! Thanks for the reminder.


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