Reflection: Forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgetting is a passive process – something fades from our memory with the passing of time. Forgiving though, is an active process; it involves a conscious choice and a deliberate course of action.
When God says that he ‘remembers your sins no more’ he is not saying that he can’t remember them. Rather he is promising to choose not to.
Forgiving doesn’t mean that the offender didn’t really hurt you and when we choose to forgive, we aren’t condoning bad behaviour, but responding in a way that seeks to redeem the hurt and pain.
Forgiveness is not excusing. Excusing says, ‘that’s ok’ and implies, ‘What you did wasn’t wrong, or you couldn’t help it.’ Forgiveness is the opposite of this and says, ‘we both know that what you did was wrong and without excuse. But God has forgiven me, and I choose to forgive you.”
Author Lewis Smedes writes: “Forgiveness is a redemptive response to having been wronged and wounded. Only those who have wronged and wounded us are candidates for forgiveness. If they injure us accidentally, we merely excuse them. We only forgive the ones we blame.”
Question: Is there someone in your life you are struggling to forgive? Does knowing that forgiveness is a conscious choice and a deliberate course of action help or hinder you?
Prayer: Lord, I am in awe that you have chosen to love and forgive me, and that when you look at me, you don’t see my wrongdoing at all. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! And now, Lord, empower me to do the same. Amen.