Thursday, October 27, 2011

Forgive and Forget...What??

My husband and I lay quietly last night talking about forgiveness.  There are so many hurts, so many wrongs that people suffer every day.  Wounds are made deep in souls.  I wondered aloud, "Do you think forgiving eases the wound?  Can we expect people to recover faster because forgiveness has been granted and received?"  I was wrestling with the concepts of forgiving and forgetting.

People say so glibly, "Forgive and forget."  First of all, that is not Scriptural.  We are repeatedly admonished to forgive offenses, but I haven't found any Scripture that says when we forgive, the offense will be wiped from our memory.  Secondly, being human, we don't forget like that.  Our brains and our hearts are wired to remember.  If I hear someone tell a person, "It's been enough time, just get over it" I want to ask if they heal so quickly themselves, from a hurt.

When I think of an actual physical injury, I think first, of the blood. You bleed and sometimes you even need stitches to help hold your wound together.  Then you form a scab, and sometimes that scab gets knocked off and you bleed again and another scab has to form. Slowly, the scab dries and a scar is left.  Scars are a beautiful reminder that you were injured and are now healed.  But the process doesn't happen over night.

I think emotional hurts and injuries heal in much the same manner.  After the initial emotional pain and bleeding, we can move quickly to God's presence and let Him place His healing salve on the wound, the sweet balm of Him, easing the pain and bleeding.  During this time, ask Him to help you forgive the one who hurt you.  Ask Him to give you grace to extend.  And then, you must be about the business of healing, forming that scab and the eventual scar that shows you were mended.  If you tell someone that you have forgiven them and then you keep bringing it up and beating them over the head with it, it will just make the healing process longer.

You won't forget but you will place your heart in God's hands and trust in Him to make it whole again.   So, I asked my husband, "Can we expect people recover faster because forgiveness has been granted and received?"  I believe we can.  It allows us to get the healing process started and keeps our eyes focused on the One who give us strength and grace to forgive.

If you are struggling to let go of a suffered wrong, dear one, I would encourage you to entrust your heart to Him who heals all wounds and makes all things new.  Release the one who offended; turn them over to God so that He can begin a work in them as well.

Share with us how you have learned to forgive and deal with the memories.

From His lap,
 

22 comments:

  1. Hi Erin - I'm so glad you pointed out that no where in the bible it says forgive AND FORGET. And I agree with you that if forgiveness is given and received, healing does happen faster. I also believe that forgiving someone helps us heal even if they dont know or care to be forgiven. Great post Erin.
    God bless
    Tracy

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  2. Thank you, Tracy. I heard someone tell another person, who's husband had left her 6 months ago, that it was time to get over if and forget about it. I was shocked at the callousness of it.
    Thank you for stopping by and sharing!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  3. Forgiveness is freeing for the one who has been hurt, more than for the offender. Thank you for this, Erin.

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  4. There seems to be a psychological "release" when a person decides to forgive. I agree though it has to be done by a person at a time of their choosing. Some wounds really hurt and we don't want to forgive on someone else's watch. Best wishes!

    Clayton
    http://www.claytonpaulthomas.com

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  5. Forgiveness is a life-long pursuit, a lifestyle. Thanks for sharing great words and insights on such an important topic.

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  6. Shootie Girl,
    I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm sorry about the loss of your precious grandfather. I will lift you and your family up in prayer during this time.
    Blessings and peace.
    ~Erin

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  7. Clayton,
    That is so right. We have to prepare our hearts and be ready to forgive. I'm so glad you visited. Thank you!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  8. Beck,
    I'm so honored that you would stop by when you are in the middle of a big move. I hope everything is going smoothly and that you are enjoying being back in the place you love!!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  9. This post is right on! I would only add that forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation.

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  10. this a a wonderful post Erin! It is always hard to forgive, it is something I think all of us as humans need to just work on!

    Sunday we had a sermon on this exact topic. It was from Luke 6 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

    Boy, I really need practice on living my life this way!!

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  11. Angela,
    I hope all is going well with you! Thank you for sharing that bit about reconcilation. There are times when it would be unhealthy, even dangerous to reconcile...as long as your heart is reconciled, that's where God wants us to be!
    Love you, sister!
    ~Erin

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  12. Melodie-Mae,
    I know, right!! We have to practice to be able to lead this type of life style! I'm honored that you came by for a visit. I love your site!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  13. Thank you, Sandy!!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  14. This was a good post for me as this week has been spent recovering from the hurt caused by a very good friend. It was when I handed over my heart to God that I began to heal. When someone has the power and, at times, the intent to cause hurt, it is often easier to find another to entrust with your feelings. Yet, even then, we are called upon to forgive

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  15. Shanda,
    I'm so sorry that you were hurt like that. "Sisters" are supposed to uplift and encourage and be there for each other. Not hurt each other. I will pray for you, that the Lord will mend your heart.
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  16. Great post Erin! Sometimes we think we've forgiven, and then something will stew up old hurts and we realize maybe...just maybe...we didn't forgive, but rather chose to forget. That's happened to me before.

    Hugs,
    Rosann

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  17. Rosann,
    I think sometimes bitterness can try to sneak back in there and we just remind that old devil that we forgave that offense and he has to leave us alone!!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  18. I LOVE the perspective of this statement. “Scars are a beautiful reminder that you were injured and are now healed.”
    Dianne

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  19. I've thought that ever since I first heard Dave Roever preach, Dianne!!
    Love you!
    ~Erin

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  20. erin, you always make sense of so much...so much, i know a lot of us are dealing with in our lives. everything you said about forgiving and forgetting really hit home with me. for me, it has always been easier to forgive and much tougher to forget. a lot of people tell me i'm a very forgiving person. and i'd like to believe that. i believe in seeing the best in people. no one is perfect. there is one person who hasn't been in my life for quite some time. i've forgiven them time after time after time for their hurtful, hateful, words and actions. i've give them chance after chance and i finally realized i had to stay away from them. i pray each day for their peace and that their misery comes to an end. but there are still times i find myself feeling like i should give them yet another chance. when someone hurts you so badly, when all you've been is good to them, and break you down, every time you bring them back into your life...it is so tough, especially at a time when you know you need to surround yourself with positive, uplifting souls. i ask God to heal them and guide them to a healthy change in their ways always...and i think that's the best i can do. *sorry for writing you a mini novel comment ;)
    thank you again for your insight!
    lots of love to you and a happy weekend <3
    maria

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  21. Maria,
    There are times when we forgive someone, but we do not have to enter back into relationship with them. Some people don't repent when they've done wrong and they are toxic to stay with. You are so sweet and so kind. I know you walk in forgiveness!
    xo,
    ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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