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“Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” I Corinthians 13:5
Record in the Greek actually comes from an accounting term that means to count or reckon. It literally means to credit to someone’s account. It brings to mind someone who painstakingly keeps track of every single thing someone does to them. It is the exact opposite of forgiveness.
When God forgives us, He forgets what we’ve done. He sees us pure, holy, worthy, accepted and beloved. He separates our sin from us as far as the East is from the West, Psalm 103:11-12 tells us: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Since this is God’s attitude and policy of forgiveness, we need to not only forgive others but also erase their actions from their account. Once we’ve been forgiven our sins/mistakes/screw ups/etc are covered in the blood of Jesus and God remembers them no more. (Hebrews 8:12 & 10:17 and Jeremiah 31). Since God forgives and forgets, so should we.
This includes forgiving yourself!
I don’t know about you, but it is easier for me to forgive someone else for what they’ve done to me than it is to forgive myself for the things I’ve done. I tend to remind God what I’ve done and try to disqualify myself from what He’s trying to do in me or for me. But God expects us to let go of the past and move forward. Paul said in his letter to the Philippians that He may not be there yet, but he’s pressing to get there. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14
Before he was saved on the road to Damascus, Paul was responsible for the imprisonment and deaths of disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. He could never undo what he had done. But when He accepted Jesus, his past was washed away by the blood. He was a new man. If Paul had focused on his past, and beat himself up over and over again, how could he have written 2/3 of the New Testament and reached the people he did? Truth is he couldn’t have.
So make a decision today to let go of the past and forgive those you are holding things against. Including yourself. Burn those ledgers. Move on. When the enemy tries to remind you of your past, choose to ignore him and instead speak this. “I am forgiven because of Jesus’ sacrifice, that mistake/sin is under the blood of Jesus. I am a child of the Most High God, and He loves me with an everlasting love. I have a hope and a future. I was called before the foundation of the world. I will forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead. I will press on to reach the end. I will not quit.”
Note: We really are called to forgive and forget BUT there are times when people have broken your trust beyond repair. You still must forgive them, for your own sake, but you do not have to repair and restore the relationship. If the relationship is hazardous to your physical person or if that person talks down to you and makes you feel bad about yourself, you don’t have to allow that person in your life. You have the right to end that relationship. God does not want you to be mistreated, taken advantaged of, or abused.