Thursday September 22, 2011
There is a terrible thing I have to admit and very few people know about this, not even my mother, but here it goes. I was five years old and my dad took me to Flagler, CO, a town 11 miles west of Seibert to get some groceries. I still remember the store and especially the candy shelves under the check out counter–they only had one because it was such a small grocery store. Dad was checking out and I was eyeing a seven-up candy bar ($.10 to be exact). I didn’t ask dad to buy it, but I snuck it in my pocket and walked out without paying for it. I felt so guilty because I had never done anything like that before. The stolen candy bar was like poison to my soul and I could hardly wait to get home. As soon as I got out of the car, I ran next door where the neighbor lady was standing and I gave her the candy bar and told her to give it to her kids. The guilt was unbearable. Every night for the next three weeks, I put a paper on my desk and asked God to write on it telling me what to do. I asked forgiveness every night, but never knew whether God had forgiven me or not because of the guilt I experienced. Needless to say I never stole like that again, a lesson learned.
What I learned later in life is that God does in fact forgives us of our sins if we confess them to Him. He has made forgiveness available to us for any and all sins, but in order for us to actualized that forgiveness we need to confess or recognize that what we did was wrong and bring it before Him (I John 1:9). I ran across a passage in Isaiah that puts a greater perspective on our sins. He (God) says, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Isaiah 43:25 NIV). Not only does He forgive us of our sins, but when He forgives us of our sins, He remembers them no more. NO MORE!!!!!! He doesn’t remember the candy bar that I stole over 55 years ago and if you have asked forgiveness for your sins, He doesn’t remember your sins either. NO MORE!!!! He wants us to respond to others that come to us and ask forgiveness in the same way that He forgives us (Ephesians 4:32). If they ask for forgiveness, we are to forgive them and remember their sins no more. NO MORE!!!! So the phrase “I will forgive you but I will never forget” is contrary to how God forgives us and how He wants us to forgive others. HE REMEMBERS THEM NO MORE.
On this journey it is so healthy to cut away all the baggage of the past sin and run the race that is set before us.