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Forgive and forget? Not really. (Part 1)

Hi, friends!
Do you “forgive and forget?”
Lately, I keep seeing and hearing people tell each other to “forgive and forget” wrongs others have committed against them. Although I’ve heard that saying since I was a wee one, the more I hear it, the more I don’t agree with it. Well, part of it, anyway.

Should I forgive? Absolutely!

Choosing to forgive doesn’t mean the other person did nothing wrong. On the contrary! It means yes, he–or she–wronged you in one way or another. When you forgive, you acknowledge that someone did hurt you.

  • They lied about you.
  • They abused you.
  • They took you for granted.
  • They ignored you.

Forgiveness says…

“You hurt me!”

But forgiveness goes further. It also says…

“I’m not going to hurt you back.”

When you forgive someone, you tell yourself, “I won’t let what so-and-so did fester. I won’t let myself get bitter. I won’t let myself take revenge. (Yes, revenge includes giving them the silent treatment.)”

Don’t pay back evil with evil. (Romans 12:17)

Forgiveness says you have suffered from someone’s words or actions. It doesn’t mean you deny or diminish what you’re feeling:

  • “Oh, it’s okay.”
  • “It’s no big deal.”
  • “I’ll get over it.”
  • “Whatever.”

Forgiveness says, “Oh, I feel it… Every. Single. Day. But today–for this moment, I will not get them back. I will feel all of this pain. I will cry, I will kick, I will scream. And when I’m done, I’ll be a little more free.” Yes, free!
Our hurts are alive. We can’t bury them. They need to come out one way or another; that’s why God tells us not to ignore them.

My people are broken – shattered! – and they put on band-aids, Saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.’ But things are not ‘just fine’! (Jeremiah 6:14)

When you let out your hurts, when you thrust them up to God, you move one step closer to being released from the burden of that pain. Forgiveness makes that happen. Forgiveness helps you to process those feelings for however long it takes. And yes, sometimes, forgiveness takes a long time; it doesn’t all happen at once. But when it does–when forgiveness is complete, after umpteen times of crying, kicking, screaming, praying to God, you’ll suddenly realize…

“Hey, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it did before.”

That’s what forgiveness does. That’s what God wants for us all. That’s what He wants for you.
So… yes, I agree with the “Forgive” part of “Forgive and forget.” But do I agree with the “and forget” part? I’ll address that in my next post. In the meantime…
Come alongside… Do you have someone to forgive? Will you? Why or why not? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.

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17 Responses to Forgive and forget? Not really. (Part 1)

  • Jim Culpepper says:

    good post. makes a lot of sense.

  • I can’t wait to read Part 2!!! I know my viewpoint on it and can’t wait to read yours. And I love your explanation of forgiveness. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing

  • Forgiveness is the key to making an enemy a friend, a way to stop wars and all kings of inequalities, just from the waste of people, money, damage to the mind, soul, spirit, planet and all life within.

  • Deb Wolf says:

    Great points Daphne. Andy Stanley says that forgiveness means, “you don’t owe me.” Or I’m not going to collect on what I’ve lost because of your actions. I like that way of looking at it. I can’t wait for your next post. I think there are some things that are impossible to forget. Forgive . . . absolutely. Forget . . . probably not.
    Deb Wolf would like you to read…Recovering Redemption

    • Daphne says:

      I like that way of looking at it too, Deb! (I like Andy Stanley–and his father, Charles Stanley!)
      Like you, I agree that there are some things that are impossible to forget.

  • Merida Ortiz says:

    Hi! I really need to find the way and pray a lot to forgive my daughters father, maybe not this moment because the way I’m feeling is fresh. But I know the Lord is going to give me the strength to forgive him on all the lies he said today during my relocation hearing.

    • Daphne says:

      Hi, Merida. Forgiveness is a daily thing. Sometimes hour by hour, moment by moment. Take it in steps. Sometimes you do well forgiving; other times not so well. But we keep forgiving. God works out the rest.

  • Diana Maryon says:

    Yes; but eventually we do have to start forgetting as well, even if that takes years, because otherwise our remembering is just another way of keeping anger alive, or smuggling in unforgiveness by the back door.

    Forgiveness is at the core of our faith, our forgiveness by God Who says that He will remember our sins “no more”. We may have to write a book in order first to remember, then to forget.

    Please see my personal book for the personal miracle which may follow genuine forgiving.

    • Daphne says:

      Good points, Diana.
      When we keep bringing up the past and the things others have done to us, it shows we really haven’t forgiven. At least, it’s an indicator for me.
      Thanks for your comment!

  • Kevin Lintner says:

    Isn’t it amazing that matters and concerns that cause us such pain can become absolutely liberating when we submit to the truth which in turn frees us from all the anger, embarrassment, frustration, fear, and endless other emotions that can reak havoc on our daily lives.

  • I agree we should forgive when someone has wronged us or have heard us.To forgive them helps us to move on pass the anger and frustration. When we learn to forget the hurt that was caused by another individual, we no longer have to hold on to the thought of what they have done to us. We can move on by learning to let go all the way not just part of the way. I do agree we need to forgive and to learn to forget as well. Learn the lesson and live your life.

    • Daphne says:

      Hi, LeRon!
      Thanks for your feedback.
      There is much to learn from pain, isn’t there? It has definitely taught me much. I hope I can take what I’ve learned and use it for God’s glory.

  • Pingback: Forgive and Forget? Not Really. (Part 2) | Daphne E. Tarango

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