Forgiveness Is Important

6 May

Forgiveness Is Important…

In my post “Do We Complicate Christianity” I touched on forgive and forget writing:

Jesus taught us how to love and to forgive and forget. Yet so many Christian’s have a problem over the forgetting part. They have no concern over the forgiving, but insist on keeping the burden and stress of the problem with them; they just can’t forget. As Christian’s we should, like God, wipe the slate clean, purge our minds of the problem and continue living a loving life.

Why is this so important to God and for us? Today I will touch on the reasons I learned from my Grandfather and hopefully help you understand the importance.

The phrase “forgive and forget” is not found in the Bible. However, there are numerous scriptures commanding us to “forgive one another”. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you Matthew 6:14; Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32.

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:14-15. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 2 John 1:8. Forgiveness is a decision of the will.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Since God commands us to forgive, we must make a conscious choice to forgive. This frees us from the past. The offender may not desire forgiveness and may not change. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44. Ideally, the offender will seek reconciliation, but if not, we should still make known our decision to forgive.

In one sense, it is impossible to truly forget sins that have been committed against us. We cannot selectively “delete” events from our memory. The Bible states that God does not “remember” our wickedness. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Hebrews 8:12. God is all-knowing. God knows that we have “sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

However, having forgiven us, He treats us as if the sin had not occurred. If we belong to Him through faith in Christ, God does not hold our sins against us. In that sense we must “forgive and forget.”

When we forgive someone, we must act as if that sin had never occurred. We remember the sin, but we live as if we did not remember it. Ephesians 4:32 tells us, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

I am not saying it will be easy, but, if when you forgive and ‘wipe’ the sin into the past, time will heal your wounds and the memory of it will fade away. Grandfather probably said it best:

“When you carry all those hurts with you, you are adding a great burden on your shoulders. Not only are you keeping the hurt alive in your mind to dig at you every time you think of it, you are also giving the offending person the glory over and over for hurting you. That means every time you remember it, the person who worked so hard to hurt you, just hurt you again.”

To me this is a win-win situation, you forgive to release the hurt and forget to get it completely behind you. This is the love Jesus talks about when he said to love your neighbor as I have loved you.

There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.

I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I know, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps. It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.

I think it’s important to remember that we are all human and prone to make mistakes. Holding people to unreasonable standards will only create more unnecessary conflicts in your world and negativity within you.

Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting. You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’

It’s also important to remember this to avoid falling into the pretty useless habit of beating yourself up over mistakes that you have made. And instead be able to see with clarity where you went wrong and what you can learn from your mistake. And then try again. Without forgiveness life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.

Most importantly see the good in people and help them. I try to look only to the good qualities of people. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others. Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men. I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.

So where do you stand on forgive and forget? Can you put it behind you? Your happiness just may depend on your answer.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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