Monday, June 8, 2009

Forgiving and forgetting

"To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it." -Confucius

I read this the other day, and it struck a chord with me. How many times do we hold unto our hurt when we are wronged. We say we forgive, but we don't let it go. We often consciously remember and remember.
I once taught a teen class. We talked about temptation. It is not a sin to be tempted, but it can become a sin if you continue to dwell on it. If you continue to think about it being a temptation, and how hard it is that you are tempted, eventually you may give into it and commit sin. A young couple are sitting on a couch making out, and going a little to far. They feel they just cannot control themselves--sexual passions are just too high! ...and then the girl's father walks in!! They immediately make a conscious effort to control themselves!! We can control a lot more things than we think we can. We can make a conscious effort to put things that tempt us out of our mind--refuse to even think about how hard the temptation is and how you must not give into it---REFUSE TO EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. It does work.
The same principle can work with hurts too. First of all, it is Biblical.Ephesians 4:32 "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." How does he forgive us? He throws our sins that we have committed against Him in the sea of forgetfulness.(Jeremiah 31:34, "...for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.") That is how he forgave us, and how we are to forgive others. Paul says in Philippians 3:13,14, "I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward." (Amplified Version) Those hurtful things that were done to you that you say you have forgiven, have you made a conscious effort to forget? Yes, things will happen that will make it well up, and trigger your memories, and it can hurt, but it is then time to push it away again--again forgetting the things that are behind. Technically, yes, you remember it, but in a larger sense, you have forgotten it, because you made a choice too. This is true forgiveness, and in this brand of forgiveness, the wrong can become nothing!


Mark said...

Right on, though it isn't always easy

Christa said...

As someone that has ALOT of experience in this, I know! I just also know it can be done.