Is It Possible to Forget?
Are we as Christians supposed to “forgive and forget?” I think that is the spirit of the biblical reality.
It is impossible to just forget certain things; it is not wrong to look at someone and remember wrong they’ve done to you, difficult times, hard talks, etc. Those are all natural things, memories that we have.
Ephesians 4:32, ESV, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
However, it is wrong to charge them to their account.
The wrongs of others done to us should be more like a footnote, less like a book cover. And yet, our hearts should be so loving, so patient and gracious that we easily absorb, discount, and forgive those who have sinned against us.
What is our motivation? How do we do such a thing?
The Gospel of God
2 Corinthians 5:19, ESV, “that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the ministry of reconciliation.”
On the cross, Jesus suffered for sins not His own. He was righteous; His moral account was perfectly upright — and yet, He bore the wrath of God for another’s sins. God charged, imputed, counted the sins of everyone who would ever trust in Christ upon the Son.
Jesus was charged with the billions of sins that His people would commit and His paid and bore the merited penalty for them: the wrath and curse of God. And thus, because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead, the Judge of all the earth can now charge, impute, count the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ to your account.
This is the gospel! This is justification.
Romans 4:8, ESV, “Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count sin.”
By the empty hand of faith we release/repent of any merits, works, morals, acts, hope, trust in and of ourselves — completely — and look to Christ to receive his righteousness.
Charles Spurgeon said, “When God accepts a sinner, He is, in fact, only accepting Christ. He looks into the sinner’s eyes, and He sees His own dear Son’s image there, and He takes him in.”
Be Imitators of God
In Hebrews 8:12, ESV, we read, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
How does God, omniscient, all-knowing, count not their sum?
He does not bring them to mind. He doesn’t have amnesia, but He looks at us and does not charge them to us nor does He ever judge us on the basis of our sins against Him because Christ bore all our sins and judgment (Romans 8:1).
Therefore, how can we who have been forgiven such an insurmountable and unimaginable debt of sin against God hold anything against anyone?
Do we think we are higher than God? “He may not charge you, but I do!”
Do we think we are more offended than God? “They are first against him, but worse against me.”
Are we not acting contrary to the very gospel we cling to? Do our hearts not betray us?
May God grant us spiritual amnesia; a forgiving heart, a tender heart, one that loves Christ so much that no wrong against us will stick.