We’ve all heard the saying forgive and forget.
The Lord God Jehovah-Shalom (means The Lord is Peace) is our ultimate example of forgiveness.
He loves us with such immensity that He chose sacrificial love as the vehicle to bring about reconciliation.
Forgiveness is more than just a nicety in life it is a necessity.
The bible says in Psalms 103:12 that when God forgives “He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west” and that “He remembers our sin no more” Isaiah 43:25.
When we sin against God and confess our hearts before Him, He forgives. More than that He does not hold it over our head when we sin again. There is no, “I knew you’d blow it again” from the Lord and that is a huge relief.
On a day-to-day basis most of us are more than capable of forgiving and forgetting. We can handle the run of the mill offences and transgressions. We are able forgive and remember no more what had been said or done.
What happens when we can’t or won’t forgive?
How do we handle ourselves when there is a major offense? What do we do with the deep hurts, the personal infringements that are affronts to our character and the betrayals that level us leaving us incapacitated, sucking air and wondering what just hit us?
Relationships are hard and people are unpredictable. Infidelity, divorce, betrayal, disappointment, gossip and manipulation are but a few of the scenarios that leave us wounded and hurting.
When we are wounded deeply many of us implode. Sometimes when the hurt is so great, we curl up and we begin the slow process of becoming overtaken by hurt and bitterness. We die emotionally and spiritually because we refuse treatment from the Great Physician.
Sometimes we get stuck and we are unable to get past the offense. We choose to hold onto the hurt. We carry it around with us and we make a choice to remember.
Not only do we choose not to forgive, but we also choose to remember…with great clarity and detail the offense. We can bring it up the scenario in a nano second and before we know it we are back in that place of hurt.
I know of what I speak.
I was hurt deeply many years ago by a person I considered to be a close friend. The hurt eventually caused us to step out of friendship with each other.
I had forgiven her and yet it still hurt. I justified my reasons for how I felt. Yet, I failed to acknowledge my role. My responsibility was to forgive and forget.
Over the years we lost touch and I eventually put this hurt out of my mind.
So, just this week I had coffee with this same person who I had been hurt by many years ago. The purpose for our get together was something all together different.
Toward the end of our time together she asked me if I remembered that conversation from years gone by. Truth be told, I was ashamed because I remembered it too well. She began to set the table for me as to her mindset during that time. It helped me understand her perspective better. She apologized for what she said and how she behaved and then proceeded to ask for my forgiveness.
I was stunned.
I had a decision to make. This time I had to decide if I was really willing to forgive AND forget.
Today I choose forgiveness and pray that God gives me the grace to remember no more.
There is great freedom in forgiveness.
If you find yourself in conflict or unable to forgive, check out these links below as a place to start.
May the God of Peace grant you the ability to remember No more.
Grace & Peace ~ Karen
Forgiveness is a choice R. Enright Ph.D.
Forgive for Good Dr. Fred Luskin
The Peacemakers – Ken Sande