When you were young, did you ever do anything you wish people would just forget? I did all the time. There was the time my brother and I smashed out the glass at the top of an old building. When we crawled inside an abandoned shed only to find it was not abandoned. The time I decided to try a flip off the diving board and ended up in a flop. Some many stupid ideas that ended in regret, lost allowance, or embarrassment. But there were other times where my ideas and choices ended with tougher consequences. Some of those consequences stuck with me for a long time, and worse yet, some of those choices remained in the minds of family and community members LONG after I had moved on.
There were times I wished they could forgive and forget, and others I wished I had NEVER done what I had done. So many of those choices though became teachable moments. Therefore for the most part I wouldn't take any of them back, however I want the memory to be wiped from the minds of all who "knew me when."
Then I have to remember that I am the same tendency with others. In truth as I look at Psalm 25 it is a reminder that there is only one who does not remember "the sins of my youth", and it is His choice. David asks God, "Remember, Lord, your compassion and Your faithful love, for they have existed from antiquity." (Psalm 25:6) Isn't that what WE want from God and from other people? We want them to remember to show us compassion, especially in our stupidity. We want them to "not remember the sins of my youth." Parents, siblings, teachers, community members, employers, etc. Please forget my youthful stupidity. Show me compassion.
There is a prayer that Jesus taught His disciples where He tells them to pray this: "forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors." Forgiving and forgetting goes both ways. If I want others, including God, to forget my youthful misdeeds, then I must forgive them as well. As we are like Our Father in Heaven we will be able to do that. As David tells us,
"The Lord is good and upright;
therefore He shows sinners the way."
Let us follow Him in His goodness and righteousness and follow His way of forgiveness.