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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Forgiveness

I am a thinker. Because of Parkinson's Disease I have lots of time during my day to think and ponder and read. Last week while doing my daily Bible study my attention was directed toward forgiveness. I looked it up and discovered the root meaning of that word is "away" or "far". I read the verse in Hebrews 8:12 which says, "I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Keeping in mind Matthew 6:14-15 ("For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."), I became uncomfortable. I was remembering a couple of people who sinned against me repeatedly, and have to this day never acknowledged it or apologized. Oh, I had dealt with this somewhat and intellectually forgiven them, but I still remembered it.

To "remember" means to easily call to mind something that has been there before. I could easily and quickly recall their sins against me and feel the pain that it caused all over again. It was on file in my memory. It wasn't far away from me.

Max Lucado wrote: "God doesn’t just forgive, he forgets. He erases the board. He destroys the evidence. He burns the microfilm. He clears the computer.

He doesn’t remember my mistakes. For all the things he does do, this is one thing he refuses to do. He refuses to keep a list of my wrongs. When I ask for forgiveness he doesn’t pull out a clipboard and say, “But I’ve already forgiven him for that five hundred and sixteen times.”

He doesn’t remember.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:12 NLT)

“I will be merciful toward their iniquities.” (Hebrews 8:12 RSV)
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I'm going to burn the records of those sins against me. I'm going to put those sins far away from me. I'm going to ask God to help me hold nothing against them and forget any evidence I have of their wickedness. I will get rid of any proof I have of what they did to me.

We must follow the example of our God and in obedience completely let go of the evidence against those who have sinned against us. If our fleshly minds try to hold onto the memories and evidence of wrongs done to us, we must not grow weary of refusing to think on them, but instead giving it to God and asking Him to wipe all of it from our memory.

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