Here is a question for you – Is it possible to forgive and forget? This question is really geared toward the forgetting part. We know we are to forgive others as Jesus forgave us. But are we instructed to forget? And, if we can’t seem to forget, does it mean we haven’t really forgiven? After all, God says He will remember our sins no more. The ability to forget really depends on the intensity of the offence. It is probable that a person can forgive and forget a minor transgression against them such as forgetting a birthday. Something like that usually doesn’t scar a person for life. But what about the betrayal of marriage vows or even a crime committed against you? These types of transgressions or offences cut deep. And these kinds of memories cannot be turned off like a switch in our brains. The healing process could take years. But one thing is clear, the healing process is hindered without forgiveness. Because unaddressed forgiveness often turns into bitterness which scriptures says leads to further defilement. Forgiveness is a choice and many times is one of the most difficult decisions you will have to make, especially if the offender is still in your life. And if there is no acknowledgement of guilt on their part nor do they ask for forgiveness, that adds more salt to the wound. But, thankfully, changing them is neither something you can do nor something you are supposed to do. Leave that to the Holy Spirit. But, there is something you can do. However much you would like to purge certain memories forever from your brain, you can control what you meditate on. You can choose what to focus on. You can choose to go forward – to press on. As Paul says in Philippians 3:13 (Message Bible) – “…I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward–to Jesus. I’m off and running and not turning back.” Is your eye on the goal ahead or the hurt behind you? While you may not quite be off and running yet, taking the first step forward is a good start.
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Colossians 3:13 (NKJV)
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12 (NKJV)
15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV)
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, Philippians 3:13 (NKJV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)