The Divine and Human Side of Forgiveness ©2017 Bill Murphy
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Isaiah 43:25
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
It’s said that we should forgive and forget. True, we should. But the forgetting part is what we find most difficult, and rightly so.
There’s a vast difference between Divinity and Humanity. Mankind simply was not wired for selective forgetfulness. Few of us come to God at His first call. Often there’s a period of intense conviction when our heart is being prepared for surrender. If we were endued with the ability to willingly blot out (forget) those early pangs of conviction, it would greatly enhance our efforts to reject God’s calling! So, in God’s great mercy, He’s thankfully not wired our hearts and minds with the ability of selective forgetfulness! Praise God! (It works to HIS advantage!)
However, we do forget. We just find it next to impossible to selectively forget!
From my understanding of true forgiveness (Godly forgiveness), that would mean that the iniquity has been forgiven and forgotten. It’s just as if the iniquity had never happened. Therefore, from the Divine standpoint, remembrance serves no purpose what so ever. Think about it.
However, from humanity’s standpoint, remembrance does serve a very useful purpose. In the righteousness side of the ledger – remembering the goodness and mercies of God!
It also serves a useful (and righteous purpose) on the unrighteous side of the ledger! Isn’t that just like God to use the ‘bad’ for His good!
When we say we truly forgive, our forgiveness is not always genuine. We may sincerely think it is, but deep down, in the remote recesses of our spirit, sometimes tiny vestiges of hurt and disappointment remain. Remembrance is the rain which waters these tiny seeds, allowing them to bloom into full grown un-forgiveness. I believe that remembrance is an internal barometer which highlights the truth (or not) of true forgiveness.
Remembrance has absolutely no effect on true forgiveness. But remembrance can have an adverse effect upon un-forgiveness. Remembrance helps us to be aware of our own short-comings. When we want to forgive and when we think that we’ve forgiven, but remembrance stirs up something that ought not to be – that gives us a spiritual warning to get our heart in order!
So don’t be discouraged that you can’t forget. God made us that way!