In 1 Peter we are challenged that as aliens in this world, we are to abstain from sinful desires and to live such good lives that God will be glorified. How do we do this? By following Jesus’ commands; that we love God, our neighbors and our enemies. But we cannot truly love, if we refuse to walk in forgiveness. When we hear “forgive,” we often think “forgive and forget.” Yet as we look at our lives and how we have been hurt, we cry out, “I can’t forget what has been done to me.” But does God command us to forget? Where is the victory in forgiving, if we can’t even remember how we were harmed?
So why does Jeremiah 31:34 say, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” What does “remember no more” mean? Did God truly forget that Israel had sinned? Does God not know what is in the Old Testament? No, he hasn’t forgotten, He is all knowing. “Remember” means that He no longer recalls our sin, he doesn’t dwell on it. He treats us as though our sins had never occurred and he keeps no record of it. Psalms 130:3-5 says, “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.”
When I pray to God he doesn’t say, “Oh it’s Sacha again, highly emotional woman, freaked out at the kids, stressed out beyond measure …” No! He says, “Here is Sacha, bought by my blood, redeemed from her sin, she is holy and blameless.”
God knows your hurt, he knows your pain. He knows that when we refuse to forgive, we are bound and allow those who have hurt us to continue to harm us. God longs to heal you and give you a life of freedom, but that can only happen when you release those who have hurt you and no longer hold their sin against them. When you can forgive like this, then you are truly an alien in this world.