We all know the scenario; it plays out all the time in most peoples lives at any given moment.
Argument, leads to stewing, leads to retrospection and an inevitable apology.
I’m sorry, is reciprocated with an acceptance.
But how do we forgive?
Can we forget, and should we?
This is a deep subject that is tainted by emotional baggage sufficient for a world wide voyage.
I believe that one of the obstacles to forgetting, after forgiving is deeply steeped in the human condition.
It truly goes against everything we are instinctually inclined to do.
We can forgive, but we cling to these benchmarks.
These scars from wounds long since dead become reference points so as to avoid a similar wound at some future time.
However, one sticking point to this conundrum is our connection with the divine.
The psalmist, states that God has forgiven our sins as far as East is from the West he has cast them from his presence, and remembers them no more.
This is a remarkable feat for am omniscient being, to forget something, by one who knows everything.
It is nowhere near as difficult for us, as mere mortals to forget something, I do it every day without even trying… important stuff.
Maybe this is the sticking point here, the chicken and egg moment.
We believe that God CAN forgive our sins, and that he is ABLE to forget our sins, but do we accept that he DOES forget our transgressions?
Myself, I believe I have this page dog-eared, footnoted, and in fact I am parking on this verse, because I am bound to repeat my idiocy on a daily recurring basis.
I require forgiveness, again, and again, and again…
In a prayer it is uttered, “And forgive us of our sins (trespasses), as we forgive those who sin against us.
This is nice because it ties the two together as a cause and affect proposition.
If we looked at this honestly, and contemplate it, at least in my own life I have come to the conclusion that I MUST forgive, and forget to honor the forgiveness and forgetfulness of my sovereign God on a daily basis.
If we, being stubborn, stiff necked petty little children continue to cry out forgiveness ad absolution of our sins, then how could we possibly extend to anyone else anything less than the exact same thing, forgiveness and absolution…total absolution?
This would be one of the most narcissistic forms of faith I could imagine…
To plead for, expect and accept the love, and total forgiveness with the absolution to which it necessitates, and yet not pay this act forward is an act of supreme selfishness.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not anywhere near proficient in this regard.
I still cling stubbornly to my wounds and scars, and hold them as a reference point to guard against future harm.
However I am as always a work in progress, prone to not only being wrong, but prone to forget and to fall back into old habits which at one time served me quite well.
Maybe this is another nuance in the personal crucifixion paradigm.
I daily, crucify my old self, in order to reconcile my new self to God, and maybe I also need to crucify all of my wounds, pains and scars on a daily basis so that I can live out this faith that I so stubbornly cling to in order to maintain my sanity and continue to grow and to be renewed.
In a simple phrase, I not only crucify my bad nature, but I crucify your bad nature, every day.
Seeing myself as Christ sees me, and seeing you as he sees you becomes a logical progression.
I may slip, and trip and fall and I am certain that I will but I am still parking on this phrase of “As far as from east is to the West”.
Not only in my own life, but also in your life.
You will also, stumble, trip and fall, and when your damage, happens to affect me in some way, whether intentional or not, I have got to take your sins, and cast them as far as East is for the West, inseparably tied to mine, like a scapegoat.
In this scenario, forgiveness is not a luxury, but a necessity.
I forgive you, not because I can, but because I must.
Or, as my daughter is so happy to sing… I must, “Let it go!”