Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord. (Psalm 25:6-7)
Asking God To Forget
The time of youth is a period of life filled with hope, innocence, and the ability to know everything. Consequences are not recognized as a part of life because the soul has not long suffered the seeds sown in youthful waste. Few grow to maturity that do not look back at the days of youthful splendor with some sense of regret and, for some, many feelings of guilt. The experiment of immaturity is tenuous at best. Lacking the mature knowledge of years, a young man or young woman will make decisions that seem the best but later are recognized as youthful folly. Lessons learned in the early days of life will frame the decisions made in older years.
David was a man like all men who needed the mercy and grace of the Lord to forget his youthful energies. He first begs for the tender mercies and lovingkindness of God’s love to envelop him as he faces the sins of his past. Seeking the removal from God’s mind the plans, thoughts, and wishes of his youth, David recognizes his failings in early life. He not only seeks the forgiveness of the Lord, but he begs for God to forget how the young shepherd boy conducted himself as a youth. The heart of God knows all that David has done as the Omniscient divine Lord who sees all things and knows all things. This knowledge frightens David. He would not want anyone to know of his follies from his younger days. Seeking the mercy of God, David pleads with the Lord to forget, put aside, remember no more and purge from His eternal memory the plans of youth.
The time of youth is a place in life where experiments are met with reality. In the heat of passion, choices are made that have life-long consequences. Life becomes an effort to lessen the regrets instead of living without them. Jesus Christ is the only youth that grew to maturity without regrets, guilts, and misgivings about early decisions. David was a man after God’s own heart, but first, he was a boy. Knowing the Lord’s mercy, David sought for the righteous character of God to forgive his youthful actions. There is joy in knowing that when maturity grows in the heart of a godly person, those things of the past can be forgotten and removed from the mind of God. The hardest person to forgive is self, but God’s love is so great He is willing to put aside youth’s mistakes.
Asking God to forget the past comes with the requirement the heart is willing to live more closely to the will of the Father in the future. Youth is a time of learning, and maturity is applying the lessons to better decisions. There is a time to grow up and remove the youthful fancies of a bygone period of folly to a solid experience of learning the ways of the Lord, walking in the paths of truth, and seeking the salvation of the Lord. God is willing to forget the sins of youth. His mercy is everlasting and His goodness eternal. This also means that grown people need to act their age. When youth is past, it is finished. Trying to rekindle a youthful experience is an exercise in failure. Grow up in Christ. Live for the Lord. Seek maturity.