top of page

The Forgetfulness of God



 

Posted by Erin Roberson, March 19, 2024


Marilu Henner is an actress who is best known for her role as Elaine O’Connor Nardo in the hit sitcom Taxi. Something really interesting about Marilu Henner is that she has a highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM). She can remember almost every detail of every day in her life since she was 11 years old!  


Only about 100 people in the world have HSAM. It’s so fascinating that she was featured in an episode of 60 Minutes. Marilu says that if someone in her family wants to know when something happened, it’s always, “Ask Marilu.” She can tell you the day of the week for any date and everything that happened in her life on any given day, including what she ate!  


One time, someone was telling Marilu about their wedding on June 15, 1998, and Marilu replied, “Why did you get married on a Monday? That is so unusual.” She was correct. The wedding was held on a Monday!  


She has written a book titled Total Memory Makeover. And she is using her rare ability for good, working with the Alzheimer’s Association and UsAgainstAlzheimer’s to study brain health.


Most of us are not like Marilu. We can’t remember where we put our car keys or the date of our last physical. I don’t know anyone with HSAM, but I do know that God is omniscient. He knows everything, and He forgets nothing.


God knows everything about me. He knows everything that has happened in my past, and He even knows everything that is going to happen. In fact, He’s already there in my future! It blows my mind to think about it!


Although God remembers everything, the Bible tells us that God forgives and forgets our sins. For example, God says He “keeps no record of sins” in Jeremiah 31:34.  Likewise, in Isaiah, God says, ‘I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (43:25).


But how can that be, since God knows everything and forgets nothing?

It appears that God chooses not to remember our mistakes. He frees us from the slavery of sin and invites us, like Paul, to “forget what is behind and press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us]” (Philippians 3:13).


My favorite verse about this topic says that God removes our sins from us “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). Think about traveling around the globe. When do you stop going east and start going west? It’s impossible to know! When we ask God to forgive us, our sins are completely forgiven.  


Jesus was the one-time sacrifice that completely removes our sin. He can heal any wound and forgive any mistake. We can accept this grace and move forward, knowing that God wants to transform us and will not hold our mistakes against us. In fact, He can redeem our mess ups and turn them into masterpieces!


If God can choose to forget our mistakes, does that mean God can cause us to forget the hurts others have inflicted upon us? To forgive someone, we must often put painful memories out of our minds. We may not be able to completely forget the offense, but we can choose to overlook it. We can choose not to dwell on it. We can forgive and move on.


As followers of Jesus, we are to forgive even if the other person has not taken a step toward reconciliation…and even if they won’t admit to doing anything wrong! 

Jesus set the perfect example for us. Although the disciples deserted Him and even claimed they did not know Him, He died on a cross for them (and for you and me). After he was raised from the dead, Jesus forgave and restored Peter, the one who had denied him three times. Not only did Jesus forgive Peter, he used him to preach the first gospel message!


Through the power of the Holy Spirit, it is possible to forgive even the most awful hurts and to be at peace, trusting God to show us the steps forward. 




Erin Roberson is a wife and mother of two wonderful grown boys. She is a lifelong educator who loves learning and teaching others. She believes our primary focus should be on our relationship with God, learning who God is, who God says we are, and how God wants us to live.

4 Comments


Guest
Mar 23

Excellent message! ❤️

Like

Guest
Mar 23

Isaiah 43:25 has always been one of my favorite verses! It just shows us God’s love for us! He chooses to remember our sins no more. He mentions this several times in the Bible. Thanks for sharing that with us,Erin. He wants a relationship with His children.

This is a beautiful written truth!!!

Like

Guest
Mar 22

Very good. I recently heard a message on this topic. The pastor used the story of Joseph & how he forgave his brothers & chose to forget the hurt & reconciled with them. I liked what the pastor said "It's not what you remember that matters. It's what you choose to forget."

If only we could all follow Joseph's example.....

Like

Tonya Ortkiese
Tonya Ortkiese
Mar 22

You just preached a powerful sermon in very few words Thank you Erin

Like
bottom of page