Forgiving and Forgetting
God forgives, but GOD does not forget. We are called to forgive, but are we also called to forget? If I go into a store and steal a candy bar and then ask GOD to forgive me, he will, but the next day when I go into the store and steal another candy bar GOD is not going to forget that I stole the first one. Will he forgive me again? Yes, he will. He remembers the last offense, but chooses to overlook it, and he is going to allow me to take on the consequences for my actions. He did this for David and his choices with Bathsheba. GOD forgave him, but He allowed him to reap the consequences for that, by taking their first born.
It is so common and easy when someone hurts us, to want to strike back. I’m a number one offender of that. I on a number of occasions have sought after revenge, or justice I call it. One of three examples that I would like to include from my life is with my ex husband. He is highly volatile to me. Dealing with visitations and issues with the two oldest children on almost every occasion leaves me screaming for justice and pleading with GOD for well… many things that have nothing to do with forgiveness. Ultimate forgiveness would be the goal, and I pray that one day I will get there. I will unfortunately battle this until the two oldest have reached 18. I’m counting down the years, believe me.
The number two example. On a number of occasions with Tony’s family, I have been left feeling wronged and have sought after justice, or a means of striking back. Was I really wronged by them? Probably not to the extent that needed revenge. Did I still seek it or something like it? Yes, I did, because to me, not standing up for myself and my family was weakness and I do not like to be weak. Another flaw of mine. If I would have remained silent I would have been miserable, bitter, and angry. How do I know? Because I held that silence for my years and it ate at me until the relationships were so strained that there was almost nothing left for me. FYI, on the flip side, opening my mouth and fighting every battle did not do wonders for me either. It’s a balance. Guess we are back to drama again, but I’m not willing to have no drama at my expense. Some may, I’m not one of them. Perhaps some day I may be able to be. Wow! You can feel the drama, bitterness and resentment that I still carry and need to forgive to this day. GOD please help me to forgive! Allowing me to finally move on. Praise GOD! For helping me see that I still need to forgive.
These examples are nothing compared to a family going through their child, parent, or loved one being murdered, abused, or severely assaulted. I have never had to look another human being in the eyes and forgive them for such heinous crimes. Thank you GOD! Accepting the fact that my loved one is not here anymore, or having to deal with constant repercussions of that other persons actions every day, and the perpetrator is free to move forward. Faced with the thought of that, is incomprehensible. To families that have had to do this, praise GOD for your courage and hearts for forgiveness. Honestly, I’m not sure I could ever do that. I am sure that GOD would help me to be able to forgive in time.
The final example. As I have said before, when I was younger I was raped twice. I told very few people and I never pressed any charges, so I never got a chance to “face my perpetrator” in a court of law. Today, I am ok with that. I do not focus on the total violation, anger and bitterness anymore, and do not allow them to steal the joy out of my life. I have forgiven them and I have moved on. It has taken many years and a growing faith to be able to do this, but for me with GOD, it is over and I am able to have my joy back.
I have been wronged a number of times, and I have rarely asked GOD to take on that revenge for me, instead of seeking it for myself. I have always desired that revenge for myself, and without knowing it, I have given that party a lesser sentence. When GOD rains down justice, he really rains down justice. Nothing I ever do could ever compare to what GOD can do. I figure that this could be two fold. By allowing GOD to have the revenge, it not only gets the job done so to speak, but it also relieves me from carrying that burden of anger, regret, guilt, and sadness for what they have done and for what I would have done back. Mandy, why would you carry those burdens if that person “got what they deserved”? Because I am me, and I do not like to see anyone hurting even if it is my enemies and they deserve it. Well… Nope, not even them! Rom 12:19 (Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord)
There have been many instances throughout my life where I have been wronged, but there have been many, many more where I have wronged another. If anyone of you are in that category, I would like to say, from the bottom of my heart, “I am deeply sorry.” I understand it happens, that people hurt people, but I do not like to hurt people, and again I am sorry. If anyone holds something against me and would like to talk to me about it, I am here anytime. Please note that even when I get defensive and strike back, and at first it feels good, in the end it really ends up feeling terrible.
Human beings are not worthy, and have no right to be forgiven by GOD, but yet he forgives us unconditionally every time. We have to forgive others, if you claim to have faith in GOD. Col 3:13 (Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.) GOD overlooks our transgressions, or better known as sins, as we are called to overlook anothers transgressions towards us, but we are not called to have to forget. It would make life easier to be able to forget, but let’s face it, it’s not that easy to do. Can it be done, to forget what another has done to you? Yes, possibly, but please know that if you don’t forget your not a horrible person. Your human. FORGIVE! Forgive as GOD forgave you. Lord GOD, may I be more like you and your son Jesus Christ.
Source: Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe. By: Larry Osborne