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Forgive and Forget

Over the month of September, we talked about disappointment caused by people or circumstances that have let us down.  We wrapped up the series by talking about forgiveness. We learned that if we are going to find real lasting hope and healing
of the hurt caused by those who let us down, then we’re going to have to decide to forgive them.  Regardless of whether we feel like forgiving them or not, we’re going to have to decide to forgive.
Well I made a point that because we’ve been forgiven such a great debt by God we are indebted to forgive others. After the service someone asked me about forgiving and forgetting.  That’s something we’ve always been told we need to do as Christians: to forgive and forget. So I was thinking…do we forgive and forget?  Is it even possible to forget when someone who has wronged us or hurt us?  I’m not sure it’s humanly possible to forgive and forget?  But what about God? What does he do with our wrongs? What does he do when we disobey him and hurt him?
The Bible says in Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.”  Did he say I will forget your sins?  No!  He said I will not remember your sins!  So what God is saying is that he doesn’t look at our sins when he looks at us.  Rather than remember that we have wronged him, he chooses to look at the cross of Jesus where the blood of his only Son washes away our every sin.
So what about when we can’t forget?  What do we do when the hurt and pain from those that we have forgiven resurfaces and we begin to remember it all over again?  What should we do?  We need to do exactly what God does.  Rather than look at the one who is guilty of hurting us,  look to the cross of Jesus at the suffering Savior.  Think about why he is on that cross.  Remember it was because of your sin and my sin that he had to suffer and die.  Unlike any of us, Jesus was innocent.  Yet he loves us enough to die in our place.
So the next time you’re tempted to remember the hurt caused by someone you’ve already forgiven, picture Jesus on the cross and take some time to think about how much he suffered for you.  Then ask him to help you to remember his love and mercy he displays to you each day.  Sure, we may not be able to forgive and forget, but we can certainly choose to not remember.

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