Remembering and Forgetting
“… For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” - (Jeremiah 31:34)
According to the Bible there is a time to remember and a time to forget. In the Old Testament God frequently instructs His chosen people to erect a monument and then remember some great miracle He did by which He proved Himself to them.
In the New Testament Paul writes a letter to the Church at Ephesus. Since he had taught them more thoroughly and longer than any church he had founded, in his letter to them he frequently exhorted them to remember what he had taught them. When he wrote to the Church in Philippi he exhorted them to forget the things that are behind and reach forward to the things that shall be.
This principle of remembering and forgetting is nowhere more important than when we apply it to our sins. God clearly wants us to remember that we are sinners. Then when God forgives our sins, He also forgets them and He wants us to do the same. Regarding our sins, we therefore need to remember what God remembers and forget what God forgets.
As a pastor for more than 50 years I have been amazed in my own life and in the lives of those who have called me pastor at how prone we are as believers to forget that we are sinners. That’s at least one reason why we sin again and again. It has also amazed me to realize how often we confess our sins and believe God has forgiven us and then carry our guilt baggage with us for the better part of a lifetime.
One way to win the battle against sin is to remember what God remembers and forget what God forgets.