Several months ago, I wrote the post, “Forgive and forget? Not Really.” In that post, I said I agreed with the “forgive” part of that age-old saying. (If you haven’t read it yet, hop on over to that post and chime in on our discussion.)
I ended that post saying I would address the “and forget” part in the next post. Summer came and went. So did the holidays, and still no follow-up on the post.
I haven’t wanted to talk about the “and forget” part–much less, blog about it. Several things happened after the first post that have challenged me in the forgiveness department. It’s as if God was saying:
“Do you really believe what you say you believe, Daphne?”
With God’s help, lots of tears, and the help of my family, friends, and my recovery group, I’m working through the forgiveness part–and doing well, at least, for today.
Lately, the “and forget” part has come to mind, which, if you ask me, shows progress. Does that mean I should just go ahead and forget about what happened? Should I erase the bad things that have consumed me for the past year? Do I pretend the harmful things that have dominated every waking–and “sleeping”–moment of my life since early summer no longer matter? No.
Forgetting the pain my family and I have gone through would also erase the good that has come from it.
- More conversations about feelings and long-standing issues with low self-worth.
- Healthy boundaries.
- New directions for our family.
- A simple life that treasures even the little things.
- Courage to protect myself and my loved ones.
- Restored relationships with estranged family members.
- Right priorities.
- Tighter family relationships.
- Renewed importance of the fragility of life.
- Better listening skills.
- Learning about each others’ lives–things we didn’t know about each other that we will carry with us for years to come.
- Giving and receiving advice across generations.
Who knew that negative situations could produce such positive change? And this is just a short list of good coming from bad! There were plenty of good things in our lives last year. That’s an entirely different list of God’s blessings. Should I forget it all–2014?
When we “forgive and forget,” we essentially tell God our pain is better left in the past. Nothing good has come from it. I am where I am today by my own merit, not anything God has done.
“Forgive and forget” is an affront to the sovereignty of God who turns evil into good (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28).
Pain is important to forgive. It’s also important to remember.
“Forgive and remember” until you can do so without an inkling of anger, bitterness, or revenge. That, my friend, is healing. “Forgive and remember” speaks hope: Look what God did for me in this situation. He can do the same for you. That’s the power of remembering. That’s the hope you can share with others. “Forgive and forget” lacks hope. It has nothing to offer anyone. Your pain is in vain.
My pain is not in vain. God has brought much good from it–and I know He will continue to do so. This is the hope I offer you: God can bring good from whatever wrong was committed against you or whatever hurtful thing was said about you.
Forgive and remember.
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel!
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Come alongside… Do you agree that you shouldn’t forget the wrongs committed against you? Why or why not? What have you been trying to forget that you need to remember? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.