Forgive and Forget is a topic I have been faced with many times in life. So after hearing a recent discussion between two woman I thought it might be time to put my thoughts into words. If you have someone you have forgiven but you will never forget I hope this post gives you the courage to move on and forget to be free.
FORGIVE AND FORGET
“I can forgive, but I can't forget.” I was sitting in a corner of the coffee shop, enjoying my coffee and contemplating my next blog, when a woman at the next table spoke these words. “If you can’t forget, is that really forgiving, them?” Her friend asked.
I would have asked that woman the same thing. Isn’t forgiving a matter of forgetting the past and moving on? I’m not sure we can be truly free if we keep on remembering the hurts, yet it seems to be human nature to have a long memory when it comes to disappointments. So, what is true forgiveness?
Let me confess right here that I am a work in progress when it comes to forgiveness, and I don’t have all the answers. I do have a lot of questions, though. What if someone doesn’t ask for or even want your forgiveness; do you still need to forgive them? What if they don’t realize they have hurt you? What if they keep on hurting you? I believe the answer to these questions is to give it to God: Trust, pray, and love the person the way God calls us to love.
Growing up in the South, I learned at an early age to say no or turn aside some unkindness in a gentle way. Most people aren't even aware I'm upset with them because I serve it with icing on top. This little bit of charm has kept me out of a heap of trouble, but I have realized that forgiving people is something the Lord wants me to work on – especially after several recent events that have opened my eyes and pierced my heart.
The other day, a friend came to me and said she was going to call an old love one and forgive him for hurting her. Guess what my first thought was? “Honey, you need to wait until you’re thinking clearly.” Well, she listened to my thought that came right out my mouth but did it anyway. The other person said he was sorry and admitted that he knew he had hurt her. That situation really made me stop and think. I was so awed by her courage and obedience to God.
Then, I was watching a TV series called, AD: The Bible. On this show, I saw a centurion obey his leader and kill a woman because of her Christian faith. When he approached her, she looked him in the eyes and said, “I forgive you.” Oh, boy, there it was again. This time, tears came to my eyes, and I thought, “Lord I am a stubborn woman.” What faith and love in God that woman had! Even death wasn't a concern of hers; instead, it was the soul of the man who was about to take her last breath away.
TRUST AND PRAY
Even for a Christian, walking in faith, forgiveness is not an easy task. It takes two things to even begin to forgive. One is trust, and the other is prayer. If you really trust in Jesus and want to serve him, then take some time to pray over the situation. Ask a friend, spouse, or prayer partner to pray with you and for you. Talk to God about it whenever you think about it. Ask God to open the door and show you the right time and place to talk to this person, and trust that he will make a way.
FORGIVE SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN
Remember when I asked at the beginning about forgiving someone who keeps on hurting you? God calls us to forgive as many times as it takes. “Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven’” (Matthew 18: 21-22). Forgive and forget to free yourself from the pain of the past.
Do you have somethings from the past you need to let go and give it to God so you can be free?