When we say “I forgive you,” perhaps the subliminal under-cursor is “I forgive you but, don’t expect me to forget about it.” For many of us, the phrase “forgive and forget” does not exist and there are no exceptions to the rule. We know forgiveness is the right thing to do, but does Christ also expect us to forget? More often than not, we choose to remain martyrs for the sake of self-preservation. Because of our experiences, we tend to keep our hurts in an easy access file.
It’s been my personal observation that we run into a bit of a snag when it comes to the “forget” part. So allow me to apply this in context by working it in reverse. Hopefully, you are not experiencing an emotional stalemate caused by these three words “forgive and forget.”
Forget about it
Forgetting uses the same principal as debt forgiveness. Going forward, it’s carried by the company as “uncollectable” and written off. What was done isn’t erased; it’s just not allowed to be presented for repayment again.
God writes off our sins in this context, “But I, yes I, am the one who takes care of your sins—that’s what I do. I don’t keep a list of your sins” Isaiah 43:25 (MSG). He doesn’t bring it up again either.
What about Repeat Offenders?
One of the disciples asked Jesus how many times he should pardon his brother and added that forgiving one person seven times should be good. The Lord responded, “Not only must you forgive seven times but seventy times seven.” If this disciple was anything like some of us, he was probably thinking, “Are you serious?”
I can imagine him figuring this out in his head. I know I did. Let someone off the hook four hundred and ninety times? Just say, a person tormented you that many times in a day. That means they would do something every 2.9 minutes and you would only have 2.9 minutes to forgive them before they did something else. This is the worst case scenario for multiple offenses. Yet some of us are stuck on pause after just one.
Perhaps Jesus meant this to be applied figuratively. Or possibly, he wanted us to receive it into our spirits literally by not keeping a tally of another’s offenses. He is teaching us that we must reside in a limitless mode of forgiveness. What an insurmountable struggle it would be to deal with negative emotions, calm down to a place of peace, ask for God’s help, forgive, and release it all in time for the next round.
We must reside in a limitless mode of forgiveness.
Remain in a State of Compassion & Release by Remembering:
- Forgiveness is non-negotiable. The truth is, an apology may never be forthcoming. You must put on the garment of humility. However, it is a tight fit when you are swollen with anger, hurt, or pride. If not, the person, situation, or circumstance has you in a deadlock. This isn’t a half-hit. Hold on or let it go. It’s just that simple.
- Forgiveness is a decision that has been made on your behalf.
- According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to aphiemi or forgive does not involve recall with malicious intent.
- Not forgiving is a tactical maneuver the enemy uses to disrupt harmony.
The supernatural power of God’s Spirit is our aide for releasing the offender and removing hurt from the forefront.
Conditional Rules for “Forgive & Forget” Reciprocity:
- If you give it, you can ask God for it.
- If you don’t give it, you won’t receive it.
- If you don’t forget it, He won’t forget yours.
Forget Me Not
When I see a Forget Me Not, it reminds me of how God made us. These flowers can continue to grow and produce amidst adverse conditions. Regarded as an emblem of friendship and constancy, like believers, the Forget Me Not is symbolic for love and loyalty. In addition, we can choose to express His divine love. What better way to “Forget Him Not” than to forgive others as He forgave us?