Have you ever had an experience where you sounded off at someone - in "righteous anger?" After all, they'd hurt you beyond imagination. You figure you know you have to forgive, it's the Christian thing to do but (1) you're going to do it in your own time and not before you manage to spew as much evil as possible and (2) you don't have to forget, you don't have to trust that person again, you don't have to keep that person in your life?

Then your Pastor reminds you... God doesn't forgive us that way.

"No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. ~Hebrews 8:11-13

and then...

"This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. ~Hebrews 10:16-18

Last night's sermon, Pastor Steve talked about God promises to remember our sins no more. Years ago I made the connection that God goes beyond just "forgetting" our sins. Forgetting is imperfect and it's passive - Oh... oops... I forgot. I didn't have to do anything for that to happen, it just happened. But God makes a promise - He promises to not remember our sin. Once we have repented and He has forgiven them - they are gone, He won't bring them up. He doesn't say "ah... this one... again? Really? How many times must I forgive you this one? How do I trust you again? Why would I want to keep you in my life?"

Not God. How would I surivive if He did? Why do I 'know' this truth in everyday life but the moment a situation presents itself to actually live what I know, I revert back to the 'normal me?'

And yet... it is exactly what I do. I get hurt, I get angry and oh yes... I know... I'm supposed to forgive and I will. In my time, when I feel like it. In the meantime? Stay out of my life. I can't trust you. How do I know you won't do this to me again?

Exactly who do I think I am?

Jesus told us: "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15).

Please hear my heart - I am so sorry. To my sister and my brother-in-law - I am so sorry for my tirade last week when Mom tried to bring us together. I am sorry that I have held onto this for so long. I am so sorry that I put my "hurt" in a place that made it more important to me than you are.

I am sorry.

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