This morning I have been contemplating these two items.  I even was in a conversation about them.  I maintain that forgiveness  is a choice and must be freely given.  I maintain that if it is, then forgetfulness will come about in time.  That is not to say that the situation will not come up again in our minds.  The choice then becomes how we handle it.  If forgiveness has truly been given then it will be easy to look at the issue and forget about  it and once again forget it.

Perhaps this is too simplistic.  As I do I went to the web.  A plethora of items were on the list.  Books about forgive and forget.  Movies about the subject.  Oprah weighed in on the subject.  Pinterest had a mention as did Wikipedia.  There was even a ‘web md’ article that dealt with the health of these two actions.  There  is a link at the end of this if you care to look into it.

The information in the ‘web md’ article was more about the forgiveness portion of the equation.  It began with:

Many people view forgiveness as an offshoot of love — a gift given freely to those who have hurt you.

Forgiveness, however, may bring enormous benefits to the person who gives that gift, according to recent research. If you can bring yourself to forgive and forget, you are likely to enjoy lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and a drop in the stress hormones circulating in your blood, studies suggest. Back pain, stomach problems, and headaches may disappear. And you’ll reduce the anger, bitterness, resentment, depression, and other negative emotions that accompany the failure to forgive.

Of course, forgiving is notoriously difficult. “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive,” said C.S. Lewis.

I am certain it is hard to forgive otherwise why would it be a gift?  Is not the forgetting a gift as well?

Do the names Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Samuel, Ephesians, Hebrews mean anything to you? They are all books in the Bible and all of them in one way or another speak to the issue of this thought.  The simplest of all of these is quoted from the NIV Bible and Luke 6:37 says simply “Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

From the above it would not be a stretch to say we would all feel physically better and scripturally upright when we forgive.  I will buy that.  I will also buy that I am human.

The other statement from an essay by Alexander Pope that comes to mind is “To err is human to forgive divine.”  Does this mean that since I am not a divinity that I cannot truly forgive?  Or is it that my humanity lets me forgive leaving me the work of forgetting? OR am I not called to what we say daily in our prayer “…..forgive us our trespasses (debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us (debtors).”

I have no answers.  I often have said “by the Grace of God” as a prayerful comment when I hope I am on the right track.  Perhaps that is how we choose to forgive.  If we are prayerfully living – even trying to live – in the Grace of God then that perhaps is the key? We can forgive with and by the Grace of God?  Pondering this more today.