I’m So Glad God Has Selective Memory

Forgiveness is tricky. It’s not always easy to give forgiveness and sometimes it’s even harder to receive it.

Years ago, when my kids were in kindergarten and preschool, they had a spat. My quick-tempered daughter got mad at her passive-aggressive brother and called him the “s” word – stupid. (Oh if only that were still the “s” word.)

Noah was all too eager to fill me in on what his sister had done. I had a talk with her and then made her drink a glass of toilet water since she had potty mouth. KIDDING! (Just making sure you were still with me.)

She endured a tortuous time-out. We talked some more. She apologized to both Noah and me. We told her we forgave her and then she was released on good behavior.

Minutes later Noah called me aside, “I don’t think your punishment worked for Anastasia.”

Oh no! Did she use the “d” word now?! (dummy)

“Why do you say that buddy? You saw her in time-out.”

blog photo - forgive“But she’s all happy now. I don’t think she feels guilty.”

I watched her playing and she wasn’t. She was giddy, running around as if nothing had happened.

At first I was a bit irked and was sincerely considering force-feeding her that glass of potty water. But as I thought about it, why should she be feeling guilty?

She was forgiven!

She had every right to be able to go on with her day and be happy. She had faced her consequences. She asked for forgiveness. There was no need for her to carry a burden of guilt.

How many times in life have I carried with me the burden of guilt because of my inability to fully accept God’s forgiveness? If I sincerely repented, I should feel free. Of course there will be consequences to endure, and some may be harsh, but God doesn’t put an X on my back to carry until He feels I’ve done my time. He doesn’t use guilt as a punishment.

Guilt is of the enemy. All it does is paralyze us from experiencing the freedom found in God’s forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, God will forgive us completely (1 John 1:9) and then He will remember them no more (Hebrews 10:17). If God has forgotten our sins, then why should we carry the burden of them around our necks?

Of course we should learn from our mistakes and try our best to not repeat our sins, but it is freeing to know we have a God who has selective memory when it comes to our screw-ups. (Pardon this term but it best describes it. Oh yeah, thank you Jesus!)

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