Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Remember to Forget

The Lord declared, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34 (NIV)

I walked back to the pantry.....again. Earlier while scouring my storeroom for ingredients to make a cake, I realized which item I needed from the grocery store. By the time I set everything down on my counter and pulled out my mixer, I forgot which ingredient I was missing. So I retraced my steps to retrieve a memory. 
The older I get, the more I forget. Sticky note pads fill a drawer in my kitchen and in my desk at work. Whether it’s an event I must attend or several food items needed for dinner, notes to myself are written all over small colorful pieces of paper. My lists seem to grow longer by the day. Without my lists, I soon forget.
Why is it we forget those things involved in our daily endeavors? Routine should help us to remember, but sometimes the busyness of life causes us to forget. The day-to-day living becomes usual and we easily forget the ordinary. But oh, how we remember the extraordinary, especially when it’s imposed wounds in our hearts. Those terrible words spouted off by a supposed friend in an argument two years ago—they cut deep into the soul, weighing us down with a memory of bitterness. Or the negative impact inflicted upon a daughter by an ex-boyfriend—grudges intensify as we hold onto resentment. Maybe we hang onto memories for the sake of revenge or maybe we simply waller in the hurt. Whatever the motivation, we don’t forget the wrong done to us. We remember every painful detail and it impedes our relationship with God and man. Does forgiveness involve some form of forgetfulness? 
The Lord spoke through Jeremiah about forgiving the sins of Israel and no longer remembering them. Israel had continually sinned against God, but they were later sorry and repented (Jeremiah 31:18-19). God then covered their sins with His mercy and grace. He declared, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (verse 34). When we repent and turn away from sin, He declares the same to us. He remembers no more! His “forgetfulness” is the beginning of a repaired relationship with Him. 
What about our relationships with other people, the ones who hurt us? Do we hold onto animosity or do we forgive and forget? If Jesus is our Savior, then we are to follow His lead and forget those sins done against us. In other words, we are to offer forgiveness and remember their sins no more. Relationships are then repaired.
The busyness of life sometimes causes us to forget things and we have to write it down in order to remember. When it comes to relationships, we tend to never forget the wrongs done to us; we remember them to the point of ill feelings. But God desires for us to turn and repent, forgive and forget. As He remembers to forgive and forget our sins against Him, may we also forgive and forget to remember the sins of others against us. 

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)
Our Father in heaven,
    may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
    as it is in heaven. 
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
    as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
    but rescue us from the evil one.
Matthew 6:9-13 (NLT)
For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. AMEN.

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