“Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord.” —Psalm 25:7
Poor memories are a part of the human condition. And so when God tells us that He will remember our sins no more, I’m puzzled. How could God possibly forget. That’s our job!
But he does. And His forgetting of my sin is a complete removal from His knowledge of every sin you and I have committed.
Then why do we feel so bad about our past sins? Because we confuse sin with its impression. Got a notepad nearby? Let me show you how this can be so. Write the word “sin” on the page. Press hard. Now tear off that sheet of paper, crumple it up, and throw it across the room. That’s how God forgets your sin.
Now take your pencil and rub it on the new page at an angle, back and forth, over the same location where you wrote. And guess what: The ghost of the word “sin” appears.
That’s what our flawed memories do. We go back over the deep impression left by transgressions in our life, and we feel just as guilty. It’s as if the sin never left. But be encouraged, the impression of sin is not the same thing as sin. And with David you can cry out, “I can’t forget my scars, it seems, Lord. But you have forgotten their cause. Look upon me with loving, kind eyes.”
It’s your choice. Will you continue to work over forgiven sin as with a pencil? Or will you let the Holy Spirit work His loving kindness?
Lord, my sins are lost somewhere in an unreachable sea. You are greatly to be praised for such an act of sovereign forgetfulness. Keep Satan from bringing to mind my transgression through the impression of sin that I see in my life.