Thursday, April 03, 2008

Does God forget stuff?

“No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)

Here's a serious Biblical question and I am very interested in any and all responses you might have. When it comes to sin, does God "forgive and forget"? When we are forgiven, does God actually "forget" that we sinned?

Thanks for your help, I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts.

Also posted here.


Danny Boy said...

Good question. This almost sounds like something the devil's advocate would bring up...(I guess I should have thought of it earlier!)

I believe that God focuses more on us in the present and only draws on our past to help when we need it. He may remind of of our forgiven sins simply to keep us in line from time to time. He knows we need it. But he doesn't dwell on it.

Anonymous said...

I would be terrified if God "forgot" that we sinned. When it comes to forgivness it is not about forgetting, I would say that it takes a greater love to remember and forgive. If we are forgetting then it is more about making ourselves feel better then truly making a healthy relationship. Can there be grace if someone forgets that they or others that they loved were wronged? In short,I see more grace in remembering and forgiving then forgetting and forgiving.

J to the Z (never call me that)

Stephen Taylor said...

Good question. Depends on what you mean by "forget." You caused me to think more fully about it. So much so that I wrote too much for a comment, so posted it on my blog at

Michael said...

I believe God forgets our sin. I'm not sure how to define that, or explain it. Do we have to explain everything? I can't.
I once heard a story of a lady who asked God to forgive. Then a couple of days later asked the same thing over again. God replied, "What are you talking about, my Dear?"
The story was told to teach us to forgive ourselves. I like that story.
So agian I vote yes.

And how about those "Boys in Blue"... a sweep... of the Tigers??

Anonymous said...

I am not a studied theologian, so I probably have just enough knowledge to get myself in trouble – but what would be the point of forgiveness if the sin was forgotten. It may be off-beat a little, but I am reminded of the question “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?” I believe the sound occurs – I also believe my sin is remembered, just not relevant as I move beyond the request for and granting of forgiveness. This from a very remedial lay person. Diana

Anonymous said...

Remembering (by both parties) is an important aspect of forgiveness as I think about it. I read “forgetting” here as an unwillingness to recall, or as an intentional omission in future dealings with ones self and others. So, I can harm or be harmed, and I can forgive (myself and others) and choose to not hold those transgressions against the offending party in the future…but I have to recall the act in order to do so. For me, part of the value of forgiveness comes from acknowledging the harm done and choosing to not respond in kind.

I sometimes flippantly say, “Forget about it” which is code for “This issue is not important enough to have any meaning to me.” But I think our actions (good and bad) are very important to God, so forgetting in the amnesia sense seems incomplete.

When I envision Jesus, I always envision him with scars in his hands and feet; permanent reminders for he and I both of what sin and grace look like.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you can tell me what your first fight was about with your sponse? What was the second? And then what was the third? And then, even further, when you first met her/him, what was the first flaw you discovered? The second? The third?

And yet, if I ask, does your sponse have a flaw, would you be able to answer that? Would you be able to give specific things that they do?

Does God forget about the sin? What is sin (because there could be differences there, friend)?

Now, some may say that God is all knowing and has a better memory than mere humans. Some may say that God doesn't forget anything. What happens if God chooses to? What happens if God says, "I don't really remember because I don't want to..." Is that the worse thing that can happen? Grace is still there because of course he knows we are unpure - it doesn't say that we become perfect, but God chooses to not remember the specific actions.

I don't know if any of this makes sense or is even worth your time, but thought I would share. You know where I am in life with my knowledge what you will with this. ~your young padawan

Kansas Bob said...

From Our Daily Bread:

The speaker caught my attention when he said, “The idea that God forgets my sins isn’t very reassuring to me. After all, what if He suddenly remembered? In any case, only imperfection can forget, and God is perfect.”

As I was questioning the biblical basis for such statements, the pastor read Hebrews 8:12, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Then he said, “God doesn’t say He’ll forget our sins—He says He’ll remember them no more! His promise not to remember them ever again is stronger than saying He’ll forget them. Now that reassures me!”

Anonymous said...

Bob, Which Daily Bread is this from? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

God Knows all thing, all things past,present and future. Sin is forgotten with God. He doesn't hold it in his memory. Why should he. He's the creator and giver to all and for he makes the rules which are true in spirit and truth. If he said the sins are forgotten, than they are. That very small with God, the sin thing. He's in the business of saving you from your sin past,present and future. Just abstain from sinning and keep sin out of your life. Can you forget your sins? God can!