God’s Amnesia

“As you get older three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two.” ~ Norman Wisdom

While nearly everyone forgets on occasion, they don’t come close to the prevalence of amnesia on soap operas. This common storyline reoccurs so often, I think the writers “forget” how recently they last used it.

Due to an accident or some trauma, the character doesn’t know their name or any details of their life. Often, there are family members trying any and all means to get their loved one to remember them and events from their collective past. Often, if the amnesia was due to a bump on the head, a similar bump brings the memories rushing back.

In real life, total loss of memory is more rare – and not subject to the “flip of a switch” scripted amnesia on soap operas.

There are times when we wish we could forget – but can’t. Like when we make dumb mistakes or say stupid things. We hope there were few witnesses to our gaff and hope they soon forget. Sometimes, these instances become fodder for friends urban legends. “Remember when…..” followed by laughter at your expense.

Falling in public or slips of the tongue that become humorous tales only become embarrassing memories. More serious failures are incidents you wish could be forgotten. Where is the bump on the head to cause amnesia when it is most needed?

When we repent of sin, God forgives. It’s more difficult to forgive ourselves…because we remember with a mixture of shame, grief, and regret. However, we can rest in the assurance that God forgives AND forgets.

When we confess sin, we are promised forgiveness. Because of Christ’s sacrifice – the penalty was paid. We are free!

  • “Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!” (Ephesians 1:7, The Message)
  • “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong.” (1 John 1:9, CEB)
  • “As far as east is from west— that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.” (Psalm 103:12, CEB)

I like the Psalmist’s wording of “east” and “west.” If you travel north or south, you eventually stop at one of the poles before changing to the opposite direction. But, traveling east or west is a never-ending journey. This means that our sin and the consequences are so removed that the journey is continuous.

Complete forgiveness was foretold in the New Covenant prophesied by Jeremiah (31:31-34) and recounted in Hebrews. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”” (Hebrews 8:12, NLT)

The amnesia God has was not the result of a bump on the head, but secured by the blood of Jesus on the cross.

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