Remember Not The Sins of My Youth (Psalm 25:7)


“Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!” (Psalm 25:7)

Fleeing youthful passions is not an easy task (2 Tim. 2:22). While the record that we have of David’s youth does not suggest that he wandered into gross immorality, he was troubled by the errors and omissions he had inevitably made as a young man. For many of us, the word that defines a backward glance to our younger self is “regret.” We would prefer if no one unearths the clues about our once rebellious spirit. But there is more at stake than our name.

The Psalmist asked God to forgive his transgressions “for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!” and “For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great” (Ps. 25:11). Because God is good—really good—he will never injure his name or reputation as the God of steadfast covenant love. The Lord has an ultimate interest in pardoning our sin—his own glory. If we confess our unfaithfulness, God will always manifest his faithfulness.

The King James picks up on the emphatic nature of verse 7: “remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.” Literally, “remember me you!” Our confidence is in God and his goodness. God will “remember” his mercy (Ps. 25:6) and “remember” the righteous (Ps. 25:7), but he will “remember not” the sins of the pardoned (Ps. 25:7).

While the divine mind cannot truly forget anything, the so-called “sea of God’s forgetfulness” is outside the scope of things that God chooses to bring to mind. God pledges that in the new covenant, “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34, cf. Heb. 8:12). If God has pardoned you, he is not dwelling on the sins of your past but invites you to move on in persevering peace.

Glory to the Father for his steadfast covenant love. Glory to the Son for making forgiveness possible through his atoning death. Glory to the Spirit for comforting us by confirming our pardon.