remember to forget


Hebrews 8:12, 10:17

Jeremiah 31:34

A few years ago I was teaching bible study at a church where it occurred to me there was a lot of animosity in the church. So I decided to do a lesson on forgiving and forgetting. This turned out to be an interesting conversation because a lot of them said it was impossible to forget, especially to do it intentionally. My purpose was to tell them in order to forget, you first have to forgive. Then you will no longer hold it against them because it has been forgiven.

My teaching was flawed. I was wrong. To forget means to remember no more by accident. When you forget something, you erroneously allow something to be removed from memory. I believe they were right. If something hurts enough, you can’t just forget about it. It has scarred you. It has left a forever mark.

So here’s my heart on the matter now. God calls us to be holy as He is holy. (1Peter 1:16) To be called a christian means to be Christ-like. So in other words we are to clone ourselves to God. We are to strive to be perfect like God is perfect. There are no infallacies in Him. Nor should there be in us.

God does NOT forget. To forget would mean to be fallible. God is infallible. No where in the bible does God call us to forget the sins of others upon us. But in order to be like Him, we must duplicate His actions by acting as if the sin had never occurred all the while initiating forgiveness.

We are not to forgive and forget. We are to forgive and remember no more. God purposefully casts our sins far as the east is from the west. God purposefully remembers them no more. God purposefully erases them from His memory. God calls us to purposefully do the same. He doesn’t forget. He just remembers no more on purpose.

“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.”


“You will forgive people more easily when you end your need to make them wrong.”

-Brian Koslow

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”

-Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin (1973) “Personal Conduct”

About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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