2021.01.21 Daily Devotional
The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, January 21, 2021 comes to us from Rebecca Seaton of Tennessee
Psalm 103:8-14 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NRSV) Paul wrote, “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
“The Blessing of Forgetting”
It happened again! I simply could not remember the name of a friend – someone I had known for ages. Her name had totally slipped my mind. When it finally came back to me, I dismissed my forgetfulness as another “senior moment.”
I began to think about how terrible and sometimes embarrassing it can be to be forgetful. And then I thought of one kind of forgetfulness that I am certainly thankful for – that my sins are removed and forgotten by God. As Jeremiah 31:34 states, “I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sins.” (NRSV). I am forever grateful that God forgets my sins. I began thanking God for forgiving my sins and also for helping me to forget as I forgive others who have hurt me over the years. Like Paul, I also strive to forget all that lies behind me –including my disappointments and past mistakes. Forgetting these helps me to forgive myself and to look to the future with hope.
I have often heard others state, “I have forgiven, but I can’t forget.” For humans that is very probable. But praise God for not only forgiving, but forgetting as well!
— Rebecca Seaton
Prayer Focus: Those suffering Memory Loss
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for forgiving and forgetting our sins when we confess them to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Thought for the Day: God forgives and forgets my sins.
Like Rebecca Seaton, I occasionally forget a name or something else that takes longer than I would like to come to mind. Frankly, it feels to me like the isolation of this pandemic exacerbates that situation. Sometimes “Google” helps with that, and sometimes it doesn’t.
I try to remember that God’s gracious forgiveness is amazing and healing and is always available to each and all of us, in all circumstances of life, even when we don’t remember.
I believe that she is also correct that humans probably have more difficulty forgetting than God does. And sometimes I believe that it is important for us to remember when we have been harmed, so that we can forgive, but take care to prevent more harm in the present or future.