Many of us have heard, or maybe even said, “I forgive you, but I won’t forget.” Well, folks, this is not real forgiveness. Now, when I say ‘forget’, that doesn’t mean you literally forget about what was done to you, but it does mean you have made a choice to release the person from the offense. Forgetting is not really possible from a human perspective, because we rarely forget the pain we have experienced, but over time the memory will lose its power.
Forgetting just implies when you do remember you have grace, thus the remembering doesn’t cause you to be angry again or cause negative emotions to return. The Bible teaches us that God forgives our sin and remembers no more (Hebrews 8:12). Forgiveness is a commandment from God and something we must take seriously and not neglect from our personal and spiritual development (Mark 11:25).
Forgiveness means you are releasing the right to feel the need to exact revenge. You are releasing your need to feel like a victim. You are releasing your need to continue bringing up the offense. You don’t throw the offense in the face of the one who hurt you over and over again. You don’t use the offense as a means to control and manipulate the person.
Operating in forgiveness and forgetting opens our hearts to release the angry thoughts. The ultimate goal of forgiveness is to fully let go of hate, anger, and fear and to replace those with love, empathy, compassion, and sympathy.
For those of you who struggle with forgiveness, read my blog Spiritual Growth Coaching: 10 Steps to Forgiveness . It gives tips to help you forgive. Here are 7 reasons you should forgive and forget:
1. God commands we forgive (Mark 11:25).
2. Forgiveness can lower blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, and help reduce stress.
3. Lack of forgiveness can cause bodily pain, depression, headaches, bitterness and resentment.
4. Don’t feel forced to forgive, but do work through your anger or pain, so you can forgive instead of hold grudges.
5. Forgiveness begins your healing. The longer you refuse to forgive and forget the longer you delay your healing.
6. You can’t begin new and healthy relationships until you first forgive and forget. Love yourself enough and care enough about people that you won’t subject them to things you have not let go of.
7. Lack of Forgiveness blocks your blessings and your prayers (Matt 6: 14-15 7 NIV)
There will be some of you that will ignore what I have written and continue in remembering the pain and allowing it to control your life. Let me suggest that if you are going to continue in the process of remembering don’t allow the anger to return.
Here’s what I want you to do next:-)
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