Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good. (Psalm 25:6-7)
There are many things in my life I would like to forget.
Things I have done on manic binges. I’d like to have half the money back I’ve wasted on frivolous spending sprees.
Things I have failed to do in depressive cycles. Like the Christmas when my children were young, and I didn’t even get out of bed – all day.
These moments haunt the corners of my mind. They grab me when I am least prepared, and prevent me from moving forward in faith.
When I feel crippled by guilt and shame, I need to be continually reminded to turn to prayer. Through prayer our regrets are transformed by thoughts of God’s loving mercy. Our hope is not so much that God has selective memory, but that God willingly chooses to focus first on His love for us and then on forgiving our failings.
Like the Psalmist, as soon as our past sins enter our minds, we can likewise recall the abundant mercy and amazing love of the LORD. We are then set free from our past to best love and serve God in the present and into the future.