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.


One comment on “FORGIVE AND FORGET


    It is important to recognize that the things you speak of in this blog are all done by two people, a giver and a receiver. When pain and hurt are part of what is experienced there is a need for healing. Without healing one or both parties can never achieve balance in their continuing relationship. It is quite possible that the giver of the hurt might not even realize that their actions or words caused hurt and pain in the receiver, so the giver continues in balance and has no need for healing. It is possible for forgiveness to be extended unilaterally by the receiver and with the passage of time a dullness sets in to hide the pain which at first and before forgiving was so close to the surface, but without healing the scar remains. Pain may subside, but the scar is always nearby visible or invisible. If invisible it is a scar none-the-less.

    Forgiveness only works to create balance when it is a middle part of a multi-step process of healing. First both parties must acknowledge that something occurred where one gave a word or action and the other received and experienced a reaction to it. Second the person who came away from the occurrence with hurt or pain must make it known that they have a continuing hurt or pain. Third the giver must acknowledge their part and then (and here is the key) ASK FOR FORGIVENESS. The receiver in pain then has the option of extending forgiveness or not. If the receiver then forgives, the relationship can resume in a healed state. The memory of the occurrence may exist into the future, but the healing process if done sincerely will drain the pain and hurt away. The healed relationship is generally stronger after the healing than it was before the occurrence ever happened.

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