Don’t Forgive and Forget!

Now, I know you are reading the title and saying Lindsay what are you talking about?? Did you get enough sleep last night? Believe it or not, I believe that it is NOT the best and most beneficial thing to forgive and forget instead we should forgive and resolve or at least forgive and move on.

I am sure you heard the saying “forgive and forget”. It is a common phrase-at schools, in relationships, and even at work, but the problem is we as humans cannot do this.

We are made up of memories and experiences. In fact, that is what makes us and our lives into what they are.

In fact, that is probably my biggest fear-losing my memories because whatever comes and goes in life the only thing that remains that same is the past-that past that is constantly making who we are in the present. So, why would we want to forget that?

By saying we purposely forget something, we are lying to ourselves and others, because we cannot do that. We humans, do not have that ability. Over time, memories may fade, but some still remain and they remain for a reason.

When a person says that they forgive they are saying they don’t hold it (whatever ‘it’ maybe be) against you, and can stop feeling those hurtful feelings or emotions toward something or someone.

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past-but you sure do change the future.”

Bernard Meltzer

In contrast, when they are saying they forget all, they are doing is pushing these circumstances down on their heart. A few of these circumstances might not make an imprint on your heart, but when a issue keeps on recurring then forgetting just does even more damage than it did in the start.

It is creating a time bomb that no one will know when it goes off. When the bomb goes off then the other party might become mad or confused because they thought that a particular circumstance was concluded, but instead it was just buried (being buried means that it can easily be dug up again).

Now, instead of forgiving and forgetting-forgive and resolve. This way you still forgive and put the past in the past, but you still remembered what occurred and you grew because of it. Resolving means that it was an issue and you talked (or maybe fought) through it but you came to the other side stronger than ever.

Resolving something is like climbing a mountain. It is hard and it might hurt and make you doubt everything at the beginning, but the person continues to pursue the situation humbly, with grace and God’s help. Once they get to the top they will admire the trek it took to get up there. No good thing comes easy, or else it would not be good, it would just be normal and boring.

Once a person gets to the top of the mountains-or in parallel: the resolution/break through-everything is beautiful and makes sense. So why would you want to forget the trek it took to get to a good…great situation if that trek got you to where you are.

As humans we strive to be like Jesus, but it is important to know that we cannot be Jesus. It (no matter how much you might want it to) cannot be wiped clean from our memories because these experiences form us to who we are (and if we wipe them clean we wipe, who are we?). Instead you can practice the fruits of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control-as you resolve an issue resulting in a solution.

If it is not possible or both parties are not willing to resolve the issue then all you can do is graciously move on. As you move on, remember you past for it builds your character, but don’t let that way you down. Forgiving someone is not the easiest thing to do, but that is what shows how strong you are.


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