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  • Writer's picturePatty

The Right to be Forgotten

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

Read: Psalm 32:1-5; Psalm 103:11-12

It is something many parents tell their growing children. "What we do follows us." "One decision made without thinking can nip at our heels for a lifetime".

Ashutosh Kaushik knows this too well. In 2009 Kaushik drove his motorbike while drunk. He was famous at the time and wasn't living prudently. He went to jail in Mumbai, India for one day, paid a fine and his driver's license was suspended. His debt was paid, and he has not repeated his transgression; however, his misdeed and error in judgment continues to follow him. This is because of the articles, photos and videos which can still be accessed on the Internet. Kaushik believes that enough time has elapsed and that all the digital reminders of his wrong doing should be removed. He says that he has been denied jobs, rejected for marriage and that when he moves, his neighbors look at him strangely. He is asking the Indian court to recognize what is called "the right to be forgotten". Neither the United States or India offer this option; however, the European Union and other nations have done so. If Kaushik is successful, digital evidence of his wrongdoing will be removed, and perhaps, he will have fewer obstacles in his path. "The right to be forgotten", although no doubt a helpful possibility, doesn't take away guilt or shame. It might make life easier for the here-and-now, but it does nothing for a person's life after death.

What a different and infinitely more precious gift the Savior holds out to us. Not an Internet record "cleansing". It is so much better than that! Jesus has made available to us the washing away of all our unrighteousness. Not merely the past, but also the cleansing from all our present and future sins, along with the guilt and shame that He bore for us through His atoning death, 1 John 2:2; Psalm 32:5. Let's be encouraged as we look at the truth pictures the Bible gives us that speak about the wonder of God's offered cleansing:

1. God blots out our transgressions and promises that He will not remember them against us, Isaiah 43:25.

2. God removes our sins away from us. How far? As far as the east is from the west. How far is that? Infinitely far! Why? Because His love is so great that He made such provision available, Psalm 103:11-12; John 3:16.

3. God tramples our sins underfoot and throws them in the depths of the sea. Think of it. Those beautiful pictures demonstrate the grace that totally takes away the record of our forgiven sin. No trace remaining to be brought up and used against us, Micah 7:19!

4. God wipes out our sin like a cloud or like a mist. Have you ever tried to catch a moving cloud or stop the mist from dissipating? Both vanish without a trace! How beautiful is this picture of grace.

5. God provides joy for the ones whose sins He has both blotted out and covered, Romans 4:7; Psalm 32:1-2. Oh, the joy when we remember that David wrote Psalm 32 to express his joy upon receiving God's forgiveness. This was David's proclamation when he confessed his sins of adultery, murder and duplicity and experienced God's total cleansing. What happiness the king came to know, having had his guilt taken away by His Lord. Imagine the weight that fell from David's shoulders when he received the cleansing only God could provide. and the beauty of knowing that no record of sin was kept by His Lord filled David with bountiful joy, Romans 4:8.

6. God takes the most stained life and makes that person whiter than snow, Isaiah 1:18. No wonder that verse speaks of reasoning together with God. Who wouldn't trade the ugliness of our sin for the sweetness of grace that makes us new creations, 2 Corinthians 5:17?

Someone might ask how we can receive forgiveness like the Bible describes? The answer comes in John's gospel. It is in chapter 1 that John speaks of Jesus' coming to earth and the sad fact that though He came among His own people, many of them did not receive Him. Then comes the Good News. John said that each one who received Him would have the right to become His child, John 1:11-12.

Can we access the forgiveness the Bible speaks of any other way than receiving the forgiveness Jesus purchased for us on the cross? No, scripture says there is only One Way, Jesus, John 14:6; Acts 4:12. When we receive the gift of salvation, we receive the right to never be forgotten since Jesus has promised that nothing can separate us from His love, Romans 8:38-39; Isaiah 49:14-15.

Thank You Lord for Your gift of forgiveness that offers joy now and for eternity, Jude 1:24-25.

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