Forget or Not forget

edited May 2006 in Faith Issues
Hi All:

Now, tell me: After repenting and confessing our sins, should we remember them or forget them?

Once i see all the votes, i'll share with you a true story that happened in the my beautiful Orthodox Church. But first, i want to see if anyone has had this dilema or not?


  • i can`t choose any one from the list.
    i think we should always remember our sins so we can know our weakness,always ask for god`s help and never to trust our selves in this subject and say that we are strong ,but pope shnoda said that some sins may get us fallen again if we tried to think about them deeply so we must not get so deeply in our thoughts.therefore we shouldn`t forget any of our sins but take care not to make our thought strong to make us fall again.
  • I read something whilst looking into this, and it mentioned Deut 5:15

    And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm;

    Just as the Israelites remember the slavery from which God saved them in Egypt, how much moreso should we today remember the greater slavery to sin from which Christ has redeemed us?
  • But what answer would u give to that lady who complained on hearing that we should remember our sins? That its rememberance brings her depression??

    I'd tell her not to dwell on the negative of the sin, but remember the positive of it. Remember how the Lord had mercy on herand for gave her sins for and was with her when she stumbled.

  • Then this girl went crazy. I mean, she flipped. She was like: "Oh no! Abouna!! How can you say that??

    I understand this girl, and i would be thinking the exact same thing. This topic is very serious for me. I have read a lot and been taught about 'remembering your sins', but the devil has used this against me in the worst way possible.

    I personally think, repent after you sin, straight away, after you repent try to wipe every memory of that sin away, do not dwell on it. I was starting to believe that the longer you dwell and think of your sin the more humble you are, but this is not the case. I got to the point where i could not stand myself, i actually felt that i was beyond hope and that my sins are sending me to hell. This is exactly what the devil wants us to do, to lose faith in the blood of Christ which is able to erase any sin we have done, i got to a point where the only thing i thought of was my sins and this takes away our confidence and hope in Christ, which should be what we are living for.

    Obviously this is a different case for people battling with self righteousness or pride, they should try and remember their sin more, but if you already feel bad and miserable about your sins, then you have to stop! Have faith that the blood of Christ is able to cleanse you and even make you holy, not because we are holy but because God is full of love and mercy "it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom"

    So to sum it up, i think it is St Anthony which said something along the lines of
    "When the devil tells fights we with pride, i remember my many sins and put them before me, when the devil tells me i am a sinner and have no hope, i remember the grace and love of my Lord which has cleansed all my sins"

    how much more so should we today remember the greater slavery to sin from which Christ has redeemed us?

    This is fine, this is a reason for joy that God has saved us, this is the reason we sing, not a negative dwelling on sin and feeling of worthlessness

    God bless
  • [quote author=vassilios link=board=1;threadid=3941;start=0#msg55370 date=1148552399]
    Hi All:
    Now, tell me: After repenting and confessing our sins, should we remember them or forget them?

    If we have truly repented of our sins (metania meaning a complete 180degree turn around in the way we act), I do not think it is necessary to remember our sins, because they will not be an issue.

    However, confessing sins, although connected with repentance, is not the same as repenting. I do not believe we should forget our sins just because we have confessed them to a priest. Remembrance of sins makes us able to learn from our mistakes. That being said, it depends on what kind of sin it is. In some instances, remembering a sin can be a hindrance to us.

    But far more important than the remembrance of past sins is the remembrance of death, which we should always have before us, so that we do not befriend the world and become enemies of God, but that we remember our true home with the Lord.
  • dear all

    all these answers are available in the Psalms

    if you read psalm 69 (link attached, please read it) you will find that it is actually talking about being depressed in sin and how GOd is our salvation.

    Also remember that in Romans 12:21 it says "do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" including the focus on sins.

    just like an ill deed done to you is hard to forget so is a sin, but that does not mean to treat the other person badly or remember his guilt against you, but that you should overcome evil with good. The same goes for sin, it will be hard to forget it, but overcome it with good.
  • Keeping your sin in front of you will help you not to do that sin again. For example, if for every time I got angry there was someone saying in my ear do not yell, this is wrong repeatedly some of it would sink in. Same situation with remembering your sins, knowning at all times that you have committed this same wrong before will help you to evidently stop it.
  • I personally would love to just somehow wipe out my sins from my head, maybe have some memory loss of my sins. Some keep haunting you, I mean really haunting you, it is like you have repented and confessed, but still your sins are still after you it is like they wont go away, and whenever you remember them you feel like a hopeless, worthless being. This is just my opinion not saying that I am right though

    In psalm 50 we say "For I am conscious of my iniquity; and my sin is at all times before me.", as already mentioned, I think it is important to remember our sins so that we remember that we are weak and nothing without God, and so that we remember them and not do them again, but I think if the remembrance of sins, will only lead to a sense of hopelessness & depression then there is no point of remembering them
  • im sorry but there is a difference between forgiving ourself and forgetting about it..

    i think that we should forgive ourselfs and start fresh but weshouldnot forget our sins not becuase they are on our heads but becasue they are guidliness for you and help you with your spiritual life...
  • Psalms 51:2-3
    2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
    3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

    I would like to add what verse 3 meant that: in front of the Lord my sins precede me, He sees them right away and it also means that we must never forget our sins in the sense of avoiding any possibility of recurrence and we should not sleep on them BUT not as detailing of acts especially if they were pleasurable types of sins (according to a lecture of HH Pope Shenouda).

    In the same way, we must never forget that God is honest and kind and when He says He forgives our sins through Repentence and Sacraments then He truely does, otherwise who can stand? So excessive depression is not useful and may even harm.
  • An important point is that while we do still remember our sins for the sake of humility and repentance, we should not remember the details cos that could lead us to fall in sin again.... (for example lusts...)

    "...Take away from us the remembrance of sin entailing death..."
  • In the case of lust, perhaps you shouldn't remember what it was you were lusting for or the thoughts you had, but rather remember that you sinned and stumbled through the sin of lust without remembering the exact details.

    On an interesting side not, I attended a Bible Study this Tuesday [My second one :D], and the topic was along the lines of "What does God want us remember?" based on Deuteronomy.

    At the end, the Priest said there were four things we should remember. They were:
    1. The works of God in our lives
    2. The commandments of God
    3. The promises of God
    4. Our sins so we don't become proud.
  • I still find a reason with disagreeing. If you are remembering your sin to humble yourself that is fine, but i think there are two ways of remembering your sin, one is healthy and the other isnt. And i really disagree with vassilios (no offence) saying that if remembering your sin depresses you then your repentance is not complete. I find sometimes actually when you have taken repentance as far as you can, you start hating the sin so much because of how it hurt God and others that you start hating yourself for committing the sin, and that is not healthy and may lead to losing hope in God.

    Even though God has forgiven the sin, it has still hurt Him and also has hurt others in ways we don’t understand until we repent. Take fornication for example, after somebody becomes Christian and repents, they may find out how much hurt they have caused people without even knowing. This may lead people into feelings of self hatred and worthlessness after a true repentance, in this case i would say the person should try as hard as he can to forget his sins. It is true that God wants to offer joy in salvation and His love with repentance, but the devil may sometimes try to hold us back from accepting this, so in these cases we must try our hardest to forget our sins. Some people need to look forwards instead of backwards.

    For others which do not feel the same way over their sins but have still offered a true repentance, then it may be healthy for them to remember their sins. The road to salvation is not the same with everybody, people have different struggles, tribulations, gifts and callings.

    While the bible does say: “my sin is always before me”

    But it also says:

    “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”
    “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”

    So I think the conclusion is that everybody should “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”

    God bless
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