Let’s get right down to it. Whenever the topic of forgiveness is brought up, the offending party wants nothing more than to associate that with forgetting, and the offended party wants to emphasize that the two are not made equal. This is such a touchy issue I don’t know if it is wise for me to take an absolute position, and here is why. For one, I once read the definition of forgiveness or “forgive” and statements like, “abolishing something from your heart” stuck with me even until this day. How can you “abolish” something in your heart and it still is present? The truth is you cannot, however just because the offense is no longer in your heart, that doesn’t mean you forget how it got there in the first place does it?
God is so great that when He forgives, He has the ability to give you a clean slate. However when we forgive, can we do the same thing? Do we even try? Personally, I believe that we can learn from our mistakes via the gift of memory. So while I do not hold people to what they did to me, it is not completely wiped from my memory. While I don’t live in that wounded place on a day-to-day basis, I am reminded, again, of how I got there and I am sure to not repeat. Remembering the pain, hurt or drama that someone caused you can be useful as a trigger to not return. Just to repeat, I don’t believe we should “throw things” in people’s faces that they’ve done to us in the past, nor should we run around telling others what they did. We remember so that we don’t have to repeat, and we remember so that we can help others overcome whenever or if ever they too are betrayed.
The last article I wrote quoted Hebrews 12:14 which encourages us to follow peace with all men, and 1 Corinthians 13 depicts “love” as something that keeps no record of wrongs. This is where we can get caught up. I am pursuing peace, but I don’t want to continue to be hurt. If I truly love someone then I should not keep an account or record of the wrong they’ve done, but I also want to make sure I don’t fall into the trap again. With issues such as these, we really have to go to the Father in prayer and ask Him to examine our hearts and let us know the areas where we fall short. I encourage you to not ask yourself if you have forgiven, but ask the Father. If there are any areas in your life where you are holding onto something that has happened to you and is potentially holding you back, He will reveal all areas that you desire to be healed in. Forgive or Forget? Let’s pray and ask God to help us with both.
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