Is there really a difference between forgiving and forgetting? Forgiveness isn’t an easy feat, someone does you wrong and we forever hold it against them. Or we often tell ourselves oh I forgive I just never forget. Such double standards, Jesus takes us in our sinful state and forgives us , he goes a step further and he forgets. Yet we fail to do likewise for those that have done us wrong.
I remember a few years back, my roommate did me wrong, my roommate eventually said sorry but for 3 years I held on to the audio of what was done. It hurt me so much that I just couldn’t get past it. It wasn’t as easy as pretending that my roommate never existed as, we had acquaintances in the same circles and we were forced to interact. Every time we met I was angry, and it felt very forced and uncomfortable. I finally came to the conclusion that not forgiving was causing me more pain than the act itself and I needed to do something about it. I finally deleted that audio recording and prayed to God to help with find comfort and forgive my roommate for what was done. Whether my roommate still defames my character I don’t know, but one thing is certain I won’t be a garbage collector weighed down by excess baggage unable to sleep at nights. We will probably never be best friends but I want closure, acceptance and to finally be at peace.
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The Difference Between Forgiving and Forgetting
No one is perfect we are all sinful beings that have all done things that are not pleasing to the Lord. Despite our sinful state God accepts us with open arms, wipes our slate clean without judging us.If we think back to the crucifixion story in Luke chapter 23, Jesus was mocked, he was beaten, he was degraded, they wouldn’t even give him some water to quench his thirst, instead he was given sour wine. Jesus was sinless, he didn’t deserve what was being down to him. Despite the abuse, he still found it in his heart to forgive, in his dying moments he cried out to his father, ” Father forgive them for they know not what they do. If you were in Jesus’s shoe, do you think you would have being so selfless?
Forgiveness isn’t an easy feat, its hard to just push an issue under the table pretending it does not exist. But, I am here to tell you that holding on to the hurt isn’t beneficial. I am not saying you need to be best friends with those who have done you wrong but the act of forgiveness will give that closure and sense of peace you desire.
Here is what I want you to take away, forgiveness is often a process, it doesn’t typically happen overnight, but here are some food for thought to get you on the right track:
Do unto others as you would like others to do unto to you. You cant expect to be forgiven and not be willing to forgive others. There is a story in Matthew 18 that speaks of a servant who owed a many quite a sum of money. The man ordered that the servant sell his wife and children to repay the debt. The servant asked the man for pity and was able to get his debt canceled. That same servant went to another who owed him money and ordered that he pay his debt. When he wasn’t able to do that he had the man thrown in prison. When the master who had canceled his servants debt heard what happened he had his servant thrown into prison. Again, the key takeaway here,Do unto others as you would like others to do unto to you.
Pray, God can change your heart, don’t rely on your own strength, but instead take it to the Lord in prayer. A few years ago I heard of a story where a ladies teenage son was murdered. The killer was about to be executed, but in a last minute split decision, the lady made the decision to pardon the man. Only through God’s strength could she have reached the state where she openly forgave the man who took away the years of seeing her son grow up, graduate and even get married having being murdered in his teenage years.
Related: How to Kick-start Your Prayer Life
Once you forgive, don’t keep bringing it back up , give the person a clean slate, the bible charges us to forgive seventy times seven.I charge you to let go of the baggage that is weighing down on your life. I pray that you ask God to help you find comfort and peace and the strength to forgive those who have done you wrong and learn how to truly truly forgive and forget.
What has been your experience with forgiveness?
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