Posted by: arnegrim | June 1, 2009

Forgive… and forget?

I realize that it is a phrase that is thrown around quite a bit… but is it really what we should do?  Is there any support for this viewpoint?

I have some thoughts… and I’d like to share them in a couple days… and hear what you have to say beforehand.

Ok… so the idea of forgiving someone would be to not hold any grudge, anger, ill-will, etc against that person for a wrong that was committed against you.  This is obviously a very godly attitude to have.  Forgetting on the other hand… that would mean that we could never learn from the past, and even God does not want us to plow ahead without regard for the past.

The entire Bible is full o f examples and situations where a sin was committed… and God has preserved the account of it for our benefit.  So, if even God does not ‘forget’ the physical occurance, why would we expect our brothers/sisters to do so?  Somewhere there is a seperation between the spiritual wrong or sin and the physical/human act that was the impetus for the wrong.  Forgiving someone for a sin yet being aware of the circumstances or choices that led to that sin is the goal.

gabbailey brought up a good point… where does the line get crossed with the idea of ‘once burned, twice shy’… and is that honestly a line that we need to be wary of?

I haven’t found the perfect balance yet… and probably never will… but it is definately worth the effort and relationships to try.



  1. It’s not an event, it’s a process that includes regret, sorrow, pain and anger… and eventually… grace in an incubator known as time. And, when time has passed… forgiveness is born.
    The thing about forgiveness… is that there is a wrong that begs to be made right. Someone must pay for the grievance. It cannot be left undone. Unpaid. And in the case of forgiveness… the debt is paid by the forgiver. Forgiveness is choosing to give up the right to be angry/hurt about the wrongdoing ever again. The forgiver absorbs the payment.
    It stops there with the world… but with God, we can pass it along and take our grievances to God… and in return… receive that Peace that passes all understanding. A truly divine process.
    Forgetting… we aren’t given that luxury. How on earth would we ever learn if we were?
    Just my thoughts on the matter…

  2. I agree with Jen, forgetting isn’t a luxury we get. However, I think that sometimes we like to let our past rule us. We may speak forgiveness but not live it. The adage ‘once burned, twice shy’ is true for a lot of us. Right or wrong? Cautious wisdom or cynicism?

  3. But have we forgiven if we let the past rule us?

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