Have you ever heard someone say it’s time to forgive and forget? I’ve always struggled with putting those two ideas together. I completely embrace the fact that we must forgive others. It is a commandment from Jesus that we must forgive those who’ve offended us. Yet nowhere in the Bible have I ever seen forgiveness and forgetfulness in the same context.
God gave us memory, and some of us have a better one than others. Yet there are some things that have been done to us that we will never forget. We may forgive and love others, but we don’t necessarily forget their offenses. If forgiveness and forgetfulness are to remain in the same idea, it would be more like, “I forgive you; and by the grace of God, the sting of your offense no longer pierces my heart.” This is very different from completely forgetting the wrong that was done.
If we choose to forgive in obedience to God, our feelings and emotions may not fall completely in line with our mental decision. When this happens, we can choose forgiveness and ask the Lord to heal our hearts and minds so that we don’t hold grudges and bitterness in our hearts. Someone once said that keeping an unforgiving heart is like creating poison for someone else but drinking it ourselves.
Forgiveness is real, and it’s more about our relationship with God than it is with those who’ve done the bad deeds. In fact, not everyone is willing to admit or deal with their sins towards us. For those situations, it’s absolutely critical to turn our faces toward the Lord and work out forgiving the other person with Him. When we do this, it releases us from the bitterness of an unforgiving spirit and allows the Lord to take vengeance on those who’ve hurt His children.
Dear Lord, I want to have a clear path in my heart for You to lead and guide me. Help me to choose forgiveness and surrender my pain to You for healing. In Jesus’ name, amen.