The Right to be Forgotten

Man with question

In this digital age, privacy seems to be a fading memory. The details of our lives are available for others at the click of a button. Web searches reveal places we have lived, details about our purchases, who our neighbors are, information about family members, and some things that we would rather be kept private.

But in an effort to lash out at companies that thrive on what some call “freedom of information,” the top European Union Court recently ruled that Google can be forced to remove “irrelevant or excessive personal data from search engine results.” The ruling is based on a man who said that a recent search on his name caused him damage because Google had retained information about a 1998 home repossession. Why keep information like that? Because Google doesn’t forget…ever.

In the ruling, the EU court created an interesting precedent which is being dubbed, “the right to be forgotten.” Seems odd, doesn’t it? After all, isn’t one of the driving forces of life these days the desire to be remembered? Do some people want to be forgotten? Perhaps. But one thing almost everyone wants is to have their mistakes erased from history.

In a world where there is little or no “right to be forgotten,” isn’t it a comfort that we have a God who is willing to “forget” our mistakes? Now, don’t get the wrong idea; God has a better memory than Google. The Bible tells us that God sees all (Hebrews 4:13) and knows all (1 John 3:19-20). But despite knowing our worst, He is willing to forget all our sins (Hebrews 8:12).

God won’t forget us. He loves us to much for that. But our sins will be as good as forgotten if we have been covered in the forgiving blood of Jesus.

In fact, the “right to be forgotten” may be the greatest blessing we have in Christ. Even if Google remembers our mistakes, God will put them aside – if we are in Him. That’s better than a court order any day!



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