“If I forgive someone, should I try to forget what they did to me?”

Forgiving someone does not mean that you will or should forget what they did to you.  Forgiveness is not forgetfulness.  In fact, remembering what someone did to you is extremely important in learning how to appropriately love this person.

True forgiveness always leads to love.  This love will be more than words, more than warm feelings.  The love that flows out of authentic forgiveness will take action.  It will try to help the offender in the best possible way, for their good.  Knowing how to do this, how to love your offender appropriately, is built upon truth and reality, not denial and wishful thinking.  You will not only need to remember what they did to you, but discover the reasons why they did it.  This will give you insight and will help you to discover how to best love your offender appropriately.

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2 responses to ““If I forgive someone, should I try to forget what they did to me?”

  1. This is a hard concept to fully understand. I get hurt. Then, I forgive. The hurt goes away but not the memory of it. Often, I have to love the person from a distance, because they have not changed their behavior. I don’t want to get hurt again.
    So there is fear of future hurt, too.
    I thought forgiveness would feel different than this. But, since the other person hasn’t changed, I leave them in God’s hands. If or when they change THEN a healthy relationship with them might be possible.

    Is this truly forgiveness?
    I think so, yes. And the lack of a relationship with that person is part of the consequences.

  2. This is very well said and very correct. We can forgive people because we know that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for their sins. When we do this our anger will evaporate and our hurt will be comforted, even healed. But that is what is happening inside the one who forgives. The offender may still be the same hurtful person! We need to remember who hurt us and how so we can know how to best love them in appropriate ways…sometimes at a distance.

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