Is “forgive and forget” even possible?
We have heard the saying our whole lives, “Forgive and forget.” However, I think its one of the most false and misleading statements I’ve ever heard. Humans remember things based on the emotions attached to the memory, positive or negative. How can I remember a song word-for-word I haven’t heard in 10+ years but I can’t remember information for a quiz I looked at 5 minutes previously? The song has positive emotions attached to it and the quiz information has none. Also, how can I remember the exact words stated in an argument that happened years ago? Because it was a traumatic event with negative emotions attached. So I believe the forgetting part of “forgive and forget” is nearly impossible. But don’t lose hope just yet.
What are signs to look for when we are in need of forgiving someone?
How does someone hurting you, wronging you, lying to you, cheating on you, leaving you, stealing from you, abandoning you, etc., make you feel towards them? Shocked, angry, sad, resentful, embarrassed, ashamed, and you might even have some hatred tucked deep down that you don’t want to admit is there, because you know the bible tell us not to hate each other (1 John 2:9), but in reality its there. You even hate them. You might want them to live a miserable life for payback, you may be anxiously waiting for karma to do her job, you might even want to flatten their tires, or worse…flatten them with your tires. However this is what God commands of us:
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:18
Please explain this “love your neighbor as yourself” nonsense.
Jesus tells us a parable in Matthew 18:21-35. In these scriptures, Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone and Jesus continued by telling the story of a servant who owed the king ten thousand talents which would take 160,000 YEARS to earn. However he could not pay his debt so the king ordered that him and his family be sold to prepay it, but the servant begged the king for mercy and the king took pity on him and CANCELED the entire debt. Later, that same servant found someone who also owed him money, a hundred silver coins which would only take about 100 DAYS to earn. This person also begged for forgiveness and the servant who had been forgiven did not choose to forgive him and had him thrown in jail. When the king found out about this, he asked him why he didn’t have mercy on his servant just like he had mercy on him. Then the servant himself was thrown into jail and tortured.
Okay…but what does this mean?
In this parable the king represents the kingdom of God and we are the servant. The king forgave the servant for 160,000 YEARS of wages when the servant couldn’t even forgive someone for 100 DAYS of wages. Think about your life and all the times God has had to forgive you. He has forgiven YEARS of our sins, yet we seem to not be able to forgive someone for just a few DAYS of sins/hurtful acts. The servant did not choose to love his neighbor as himself, because if he would have he would of forgiven him just like he begged to be forgiven. So when we choose not to forgive someone, we aren’t loving them as ourselves because we too want to be forgiven of our sins. Forgive…its what loving your neighbor as yourself means. Do unto them as you’d want done unto you. The good ole’ golden rule. Stay golden. Xoxo.
“Forgiveness is like spinach. You might not like it, but its good for you.”