One of the attributes of love we read about in 1st Corinthians 13, is that “love keeps no record of wrongs.” We sometimes get paralyzed in moving toward forgiveness by the fear that, if we forgive, we will get hurt again. And we may. In fact, it’s likely to happen. Forgiving does not mean discontinuing caution or “playing dumb” about who the person is who injured us. We may be in an abusive relationship with a spouse or parent who berates with their words. Until they get help and address the core issues, they will hurt you again with their words.
But forgiving does not bring an iron-clad guarantee against future injuries with it. In fact, loving… and forgiving… always leaves us vulnerable. But to never forgive… or to never love…. simply makes our hearts hard. We have to risk the possibility of future injury even when forgiveness has been offered and received.
And remember also. Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. There are some people we desperately need, for our own sake, to forgive but reconciliation takes two. They may refuse your offer of forgiveness. And if they are unchanged in their spirit or personality they will probably hurt again.
That being true, we are still not “off the hook” when it comes to the biblical mandate to forgive as we have been forgiven. But for the sake of our spiritual and mental and emotional healing, we must “keep no record of wrongs.” Love and forgiveness are bad record keepers. We must continually choose both to love and to forget where our attempts to love have not gone well or resulted in injury. If we live continually bringing up the past, the present will never be free. We must “keep no records….” Lose the files. Delete the injury from our hard drive.
God’s promise to forget our sins is actually an assurance that “our sins will no longer be counted against us.” This is what the cross guarantees for us. Our sin has been totally scrubbed clean… the past, present and future… and will not be reckoned against us again. It’s not that God could not recall what we had done. It’s that He promises to choose NOT to do that.
And that’s what we must do. Losing the scorecard of injuries against us is not a mental exercise but a choice of our will. We decide to forgive and forget.
And then we will be totally free.
FOR MEDITATION: For I will forgive their wickedness and their sins will I remember against them no more. Hebrews 8:12
FOR REFLECTION: What painful memories need to be deleted from your memory bank?