Paul spoke of forgetting the things behind and reaching forward (Phil. 3:13), but did he ever forget?
I would suggest there are some things we never want to forget. Paul never forgot how he persecuted Christians. He will call himself the chiefest of sinners who persecuted the people of God. He never forgot. I am sure he never forgot that day he held the coats for those who stoned Stephen. I wonder when he walked into the church at Jerusalem, did he see faces of women who are now widows and children who now have no parents because he persecuted them? How could he ever forget?
We never want to forget what it felt like to be lost. The emptiness, pain, shame, and burden were so heavy. We were without God, without hope, and without any identity at all.
We never want to forget what it felt like to be broken because of our own sin. We need to remember how that brokenness affected others, too. Because of my sin, my family has been hurt. Deep wounds have been made. It will take years for them to heal. I need to never forget that look of pain in the face of my mate and my children. My brokenness hurt them.
We never want to forget the cost of betraying a vow. Betrayal is so easy. It appears to cost so little. Do we see the shattered and broken lives? Do we see the homes destroyed by the betrayal? When we sober up and look into the eyes of the one we vowed our faithfulness to and see the emptiness we caused, we must never forget that look of betrayal.
We must never forget what it felt like to be unforgiven. Attempts at the restoration with God and others are made, but some will not forgive. Oh yes, there are consequences, but the consequences do not forestall the forgiveness. When I cause someone to hurt, then come back to God but receive no forgiveness from them, it leads me to ask, “So why did I ask for forgiveness?” Because the forgiveness God gives is sure, even though it may never come from others.
However, we must never forget salvation, either. We must never forget what it feels like to be saved. We must never forget what it feels like to be mended and whole. We must never forget what it feels like to be filled with the fulness of God. We must never forget what it felt like when God forgave us.
Yes, we need to remember the sins, the feeling that accompanied the sin and how others were hurt. More important, we must never, never forget what it feels like to be one with God again.