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Forgive and Forget? Not Really. (Part 2)

Hi, friends!
Several months ago, I wrote the post, “Forgive and forget? Not Really.” In that post, I said I agreed with the “forgive” part of that age-old saying. (If you haven’t read it yet, hop on over to that post and chime in on our discussion.)
I ended that post saying I would address the “and forget” part in the next post. Summer came and went. So did the holidays, and still no follow-up on the post.
I haven’t wanted to talk about the “and forget” part–much less, blog about it. Several things happened after the first post that have challenged me in the forgiveness department. It’s as if God was saying:

“Do you really believe what you say you believe, Daphne?”

With God’s help, lots of tears, and the help of my family, friends, and my recovery group, I’m working through the forgiveness part–and doing well, at least, for today. 😉
Lately, the “and forget” part has come to mind, which, if you ask me, shows progress. Does that mean I should just go ahead and forget about what happened? Should I erase the bad things that have consumed me for the past year? Do I pretend the harmful things that have dominated every waking–and “sleeping”–moment of my life since early summer no longer matter? No.

Pain matters.

Forgetting the pain my family and I have gone through would also erase the good that has come from it.

  • More conversations about feelings and long-standing issues with low self-worth.
  • Healthy boundaries.
  • New directions for our family.
  • A simple life that treasures even the little things.
  • Courage to protect myself and my loved ones.
  • Restored relationships with estranged family members.
  • Right priorities.
  • Tighter family relationships.
  • Renewed importance of the fragility of life.
  • Better listening skills.
  • Learning about each others’ lives–things we didn’t know about each other that we will carry with us for years to come.
  • Giving and receiving advice across generations.

Who knew that negative situations could produce such positive change? And this is just a short list of good coming from bad! There were plenty of good things in our lives last year. That’s an entirely different list of God’s blessings. Should I forget it all–2014?
When we “forgive and forget,” we essentially tell God our pain is better left in the past. Nothing good has come from it. I am where I am today by my own merit, not anything God has done.
“Forgive and forget” is an affront to the sovereignty of God who turns evil into good (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28).

Pain is important to forgive. It’s also important to remember.

forgiveremember2“Forgive and remember” until you can do so without an inkling of anger, bitterness, or revenge. That, my friend, is healing. “Forgive and remember” speaks hope: Look what God did for me in this situation. He can do the same for you. That’s the power of remembering. That’s the hope you can share with others. “Forgive and forget” lacks hope. It has nothing to offer anyone. Your pain is in vain.
My pain is not in vain. God has brought much good from it–and I know He will continue to do so. This is the hope I offer you: God can bring good from whatever wrong was committed against you or whatever hurtful thing was said about you.
Forgive and remember.

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel!
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Come alongside… Do you agree that you shouldn’t forget the wrongs committed against you? Why or why not? What have you been trying to forget that you need to remember? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.

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8 Responses to Forgive and Forget? Not Really. (Part 2)

  • Beverly says:

    I agree with you. In my opinion, “Forgive and forget” is a cultural aberration of the Scripture “forgive them, for they know not what they do.” People without Christ cannot fathom how to truly forgive. It’s hard work, and like you, I believe we should never forget, but remember so that the lessons does not have to be repeated. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts today!!

  • Vernita S. says:

    Forgiveness is the antidote to being healed from previous wounds, pains and hurts afflicted upon us. I agree that the ‘forget” part is invalid; however, if you choose not to forgive than you become entangled in going around the revolving door of despair filled with anger, bitterness, resentment, being oppressed and depressed. And you give that offender power and control over a specific area of your life. In other words, you are not free.

    I highly recommend talking about the incident, but, if you’re using venting every opportunity it presents itself as a means to bring up how someone hurt you, obviously, you have not forgiven.

    For me, I remember the incidents, some happened several years ago while others were just a few months ago, but I refuse to dwell on the negative and the pass. God has taken what was meant to harm, destroy and crunch my spirit and turned to good. Most definitely something good has come out of every horrible situation I’ve ever gone through.

    One can remember but not as a means to feel sorrow or hold on to the pain. or make excuse and affix blame. You remember to use as a means to minister and share with others of God’s divine deliverance and setting you free through your choice to exit the revolving door and letting go of the pass by forgiving. Thank you Daphane for such a compelling article.

    • Daphne says:

      Hi, Vernita!

      Yes, forgiveness is the key to healing and freedom. When we choose not to forgive, we get into that revolving door, as you said. I like that visual!

      I definitely believe in venting, but venting can also be disguised unforgiveness, especially if we vent with others over and over again. Venting can lead to releasing pent up emotions, but it can be a trap.

      What a wonderful testimony of God’s turning everything around. What faith! What hope you can offer others. 🙂

      Here’s to exiting the revolving door!

  • I too have been in the middle of a very tough season. I have tried to concentrate on loving as Christ loved. The love of 1 Corinthians 13. Forgiving is very hard. I guess I’m going about it through the back door. Trying to melt my heart with Christ’s love. Forgetting is hard too. The best way for me to attempt that is to stop myself from thinking on the past. And just concentrate on today. On what makes today a gift. What is so positive today that I couldn’t say a year ago. xoxo
    jamie@southmainmuse would like you to read…Insert pic of me with Pinocchio nose?

    • Daphne says:

      Hi, Jamie!

      I find that forgiving and forgetting is a repetitive process. Just when I think I’ve forgiven, something pops up and I realize I’ve not let it go completely. And then I choose to forgive again.

      We look back to learn and grow. I like what you said, “What is positive today that I couldn’t say a year ago?” With God’s help, our answer can be that we’ve forgiven a little more each day.

      Thanks for stopping by, my friend. How can I pray for you? Send me a PM.


  • AUDRY hARDY says:

    From a spiritual perspective David was known to be a man beloved by GOD, yet he committed the despicable deed of having a man killed so that he could have the man’s wife. This deed is forever recorded in the Old Testament regardless of David’s relationship with GOD. Forgiven? yes. Wipe from memories of all to see? no. This is but one example of Forgiving and Forgetting as spiritually applied for learning and reproof.

    • Daphne says:

      Yes! That is correct, Audry. What a great example from our God on forgiveness. I am encouraged by this and it will forever stick with me. I hadn’t thought of it this way.

      Thank you for sharing this.


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Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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