at 08/08/10 9:59PM
"Forgive and forget" is an adage we often repeat. As Christians, we look to God's word for advice, and Jesus does tell us that we must forgive others if we are to receive God's forgiveness. But what about the "forget" part of that phrase? Can we literally forget what someone has done? If you have a memory like mine, maybe you can :) The idea behind "forgetting" is that we don't 1) keep bringing up the forgiven sin, 2) hold a grudge. These concepts are also taught in the Scriptures. For example, Paul talks about a repentant and forgiven brother in 2 Corinthians 2. Paul urges the brethren to "forgive and comfort" the brother so that he is not "overcome with excessive sorrow." I knew a sister-in-Christ who many years ago committed a sin that was made public as she repented of that sin. Instead of reaffirming their love for her, some of the brethren wrote deriding letters to her. There was no forgiveness in their hearts; there was no comfort, encouragement, or love. Are we like this?
When God forgives, He forgives and "forgets." This concept was made very clear to me this weekend in a Bible class discussion. After David sinned with Bathsheba and repented, God never brought up that sin again. And when you read New Testament passages that mention David, you never read about his sin with Bathsheba. This shows us how to treat forgiven sin in our lives. David didn't dwell on his sin, although he had to live with the consequences. God certainly didn't dwell on David's sin. I'm thankful that our perfect God forgives and forgets. None of us can run the race with the baggage of forgiven sins still strapped to our backs!