Forgive and Remember
It is practically impossible to live on this earth without getting hurt, offended, misunderstood, lied to, betrayed, and/or rejected. And let’s face it, sometimes that hurt/offense comes from the people whom are closest to us. How do you handle the hurt, though? Forgive them, right?
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 ESV
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 ESV
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 ESV
I mean it’s pretty obvious that we are called to forgive others, and to “forgive as the Lord forgave you”. So forgive and forget right? NO! A lot of people expect for you to forget that they ever hurt you. Forgiving is NOT forgetting, you’re not just letting “the guilty” off the hook. Think about it, “forgive as the Lord forgave you,” He died for us, but he also remembers what He did for us. He didn’t die for us then just 100% forget that we have a sinful nature.
Forgiveness does not mean that you are no longer hurt or denying the hurt, it means you are absolving any feelings of resentment towards your offender, you don’t expect anything from them; you aren’t keeping a record of wrongs. You are taking the burden of anger off your shoulders and giving it up to God. Forgiveness is also NOT bypassing God’s judgment. I trust God’s judgement to be WAYYYY more righteous and due than any revenge I could enact.
I know it’s confusing, but you ARE ALLOWED to be hurt. So how can you properly forgive someone?
1. Feel/Face the Hurt
- Don’t let anyone minimize your hurt.
- Don’t excuse offensive behavior. (We can hate sin, by refusing to condone, ignore, or excuse it)
- Don’t deny your pain.
- Don’t feel any false guilt for what happened. Don’t let someone try to place false blame on you.
- Don’t feel guilty for being hurt.
- Release your resentment towards the offender.
“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” Romans 12:17 ESV
- Release your perceived right to dwell on and continue bringing up the offense.
“Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeat a matter separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9 ESV
- Release the offender of any consequences from you.
- Give your anger to God.
Forgive and REMEMBER. Remember your Loving Father in Heaven who gave you the power to forgive your offender, and helped you let go of your hurt and anger.