Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!
The guilt from one single sin is enough fodder for the soul to feed upon for even a thousand years since it has passed. Our hearts are ever reluctant to release us from the guilt of sins committed. Even if we were to live another thousand years and never commit a single known sin, the guilt from one sin has the power to master the life of the offender.
The soul refuses to move forward. It looks back upon the sin and sees what a horrible thing it has done. A sin speaks and says that this is all you are, all you can amount to. You could live a virtually perfect life and still look back and wonder how your life would have been different were you to not have committed that deed. You can look at your heart and wonder what beguiled it to pursue such a course.
David prays that the Lord forget his sin because he experiences such difficulty in forgetting his own sins. As a man, and likely an old man, he can look back on his youth and lament his folly. He sees what destruction the seeds of those sins have produced in his life and wonders how things may have been differently.
The guilt from but one sin is too great for the soul to bear. How much more the uncountable ones we have really committed, and the myriads more we have forgotten! How should we be free?
None other than the goodness of the Lord in forgiving and forgetting our sins. God has removed them from his memory in how he deals with us. He looks down our future, not in reference to our past, and sees only heaven in sight. It is only this knowledge, that God has sent it away from his mind, that can free the soul from the bondage of the guilt of sin.
God looks down through the past of your soul and says, “Not Guilty” and peers into the future of your life and sees only hope. He wiped your past clean when he placed your sins upon his Son, and he set your future in an hope-filled direction when Christ sat down at his right hand – he pleads and intercedes for you – he alone is able to keep your foot from falling.
We are no longer bound to live our life in light of our own past. We can look to our future, not guaranteeing that we will be different because we will try to be so, but because our future is no longer based upon our own past, but on Christ’s past, on how he lived and now lives.
The mark of a single sin is powerful enough to mar our consciences forever, but Christ’s blood is overly sufficient to cleanse it clean so that we can move forward, not looking back, but looking forward to him who loves us and leads us.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.