Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good. - Psalm 25:7 (NIV)
O the sins of my youth!
Racing through city streets at speeds far beyond what the law allows, often without a seatbelt. Summoned to traffic court so many times that the judge knew me personally by name. Then driving with a suspended license (to get to work, as I justified it).
Smoking cigarettes just to look cool. Writing checks that I knew I didn’t have money in the bank to cover. Then racing to the bank to make a deposit before I thought the check would be cashed.
Partying all night and failing to stay focused in class. Showing up at concerts and basketball games with religious fervor and viewing church as nothing more than religious entertainment. Speaking loudly about trivia and remaining silent about things that really mattered.
Being oblivious to the strength embedded in humility. Always wanting to look good to others without any introspective look at myself.
And let’s not even mention the unmentionables of my prodigal sexual exploits.
The sins of my youth were enticingly indulgent, but we know that sin itself is not determined by age. I’ve found that sin is the immaturity of being closed to any value that does not serve self-aggrandizement.
According to Scripture, God has taken the sins of our youth and the sins of our adult immaturity and cast them all into a sea of forgetfulness. It’s not that the sins never happened. It’s that the sins and the accompanying condemnation are not remembered.
Thank God for the selective amnesia that presents us in the light of our faithful maturation, not our juvenile recklessness.
God, for your forgetfulness and forgiveness, we praise you. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.