Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there’s a real difference between being forgiven and feeling forgiven.
When I am forgiving I want whomever I’m dealing with to not only know that they are forgiven, but to forget the matter entirely. Yet, if I examine things for which I’ve sought forgiveness and received it, I find the joy of being forgiven colored by the darkness of the memory of that for which I was forgiven. The guilt (or maybe shame) clings to the memory despite being forgiven. I would not wish it was this way for people whom I forgive. But I realize in myself that it is probably as true for others as it is for me.
The faults and failings that have been confessed over the years for which forgiveness was sought and gained renders the joy of a clean slate – but with baggage! The baggage mounts as the years go by. The baggage, of course, are the memories of the trespasses for which we sought and obtained forgiveness. Indeed, if I look back on the failings for which I’ve been forgiven, it’s not the forgiveness I remember but the failings. Forgiven or not, it’s the memory of those failings that haunts me.
I have a feeling that what this shows about me is a misplaced fixation on my past errors rather than on being forgiven and forgetting them. I think this is what You want. If I trusted You perfectly I could do it. But my faith and trust are still shaky. That, in itself, is a fault. Yet, there is no time in my life when I occasionally do not think back to my major failings with a feeling of shame – even though I do believe and trust that You have forgiven me. Maybe those twinges are Your way of reminding me of my weakness and lack of trust, and that the only one I can really count on to forget my past is You. Would that I could forget. The memories underline the necessity of placing full trust in You.