Skip to content

Forgive and forget 2

April 18, 2013

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” – Jesus (the Lord’s Prayer)

Following on from yesterday’s blog I think there’s definitely scope for some more thoughts on forgiveness. I had remembered the story of forgiveness from the South African court in only small detail and had certainly forgotten that the story was quite so graphic in describing the crimes committed by those involved. It does though underline, if someone can forgive that sort of atrocity, then what is there that you or I cannot forgive?

The words of the tortured dying husband were not of course new. They repeated the words of Jesus himself. I remember when I did my A level Religious Education exam (or was it O level?) and wrote about the 9 sayings of Jesus on the cross. Jesus first saying as he was nailed to the cross was “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. Jesus’ first thought in the midst of his suffering was to forgive his captors and that forgiveness stretches on down though the years to you and me. Whatever you or I have done Jesus pronounces forgiveness over us.

Jesus reminds us that just as we are forgiven with such richness then we forgive others too. He says us much when he models prayer for his disciples – “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” Elsewhere he comments that the one who has been forgiven much will love much,

Perhaps the question for us is, how much of an appreciation do we have of Jesus’ love and forgiveness for us? Have we gratefully received God’s mercy and share it with other’s or like the ungrateful servant from another of Jesus’ parables are we ready to throttle the life out of the person who causes us the smallest offence.

None of us are likely to have to forgive on the level of that black lady in South Africa. The crimes people commit against us are comparatively mild, and yet we still struggle to forgive. Could it be that we need to spend time at the foot of the cross, surveying the cross, considering our sin, and recognising how greatly forgiven we really are.

We need to forgive. It’s a decision we need to make. Sometimes when I hear people say that they will forgive but can never forget it seems to be said in a way that shows that they fully intend to hang onto the hurt and remind people of it at every opportunity.

But as I said yesterday, there will be times when we cannot forget. The damage is done. Our lives have been changed through the wrongs done to us. I sometimes feel guilty when I do not seem to be able to forget these bad times, but surely it is not always humanly possible to forget. What counts surely is what we determine to do, and what we show to other people.

We struggle to forget things. God chooses not to remember. It is not that he forgets through some sort of absent mindedness. He actually makes the choice, that he will not remember our sins anymore. He has removed them as far as the east is from the west. Now that is fantastic forgiveness.

As we have received freely from God, lets give it away too!


From → Christianity

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: