Have you every had someone tell you to “forgive and forget”? That may be one of the stupidest statements I’ve ever heard in my life. The truth is, to forgive is not the same thing as forgetting. When we ask someone to forgive and forget we are making those two words synonymous; but those two words do not mean the same thing.
Forgiveness is a Gift
For example, there are some times in life when you have been so wounded by another person that you will probably never forget what they’ve done to you. Sure, you would love to forget the hurt that someone has caused you in the past, but that will never happen with some wounds. Because we can’t go back in the past and can’t erase the wrongs done to us, some things stay with us for the rest of our life. Which means, there are some things you will never forget…but that doesn’t mean that you can’t forgive what you can’t forget.
Forgiveness is a gift given to someone who doesn’t deserve it.
- To forgive someone means that you give up your right to get even with that person.
- Forgiveness means that you give up the ability to hold someone’s fault over their head.
- Forgiveness means that you choose not to bring up a past hurt in the future.
Learn to Forgive
Therefore, even when you cannot forget what someone has done to you in the past, you really can learn to forgive them.
So let me ask you, would you rather have someone forget the hurt that you caused them or forgive the hurt that you caused them? It takes more relational courage to forgive someone who has done you wrong, but- if you want the relationship to survive- it’s absolutely essential.
Now this will blow your mind… Hebrews says that God not only forgives our sins, but he forgets them! How is that possible? How is it possible that God- who knows everything- could forget the sins that we have committed against him? The answer is… he chooses to forget. He chooses no longer to remember the sins that you and I can’t forget. He chooses not only to forgive, based on the blood of his son Jesus, but also to forget!
Ask God to recite back to you the sins that you committed against him yesterday- after you’ve confessed those sins and turned from them- God would say, “I don’t know what sins you’re talking about.” That’s what the blood of Jesus did for God’s people!