How are you at forgiving and forgetting? I’ve heard many people say, “I can forgive, but I won’t forget.” I think this is almost a natural reaction. People do this as a way to protect themselves from being hurt again. As Christians, we strive to be like Christ. In fact, there are several verses that tell us to do this. But we like to pick and choose what we follow.
John 13:13-17 says, “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
We are commanded to be like Christ, yet we are too afraid to let go of things. What would it look like if Christ forgave us for our sins, but didn’t forget? What does it look like when we do that to each other? The past is brought up when times get tough. During a time of turmoil, things are thrown in our faces. And it hurts. Because we are human, and not always nice. I was reading in Philippians and in Chapter 3, Paul urges us to not have confidence in people but in the Lord. In verse 13 he says, “One thing I do: forgetting what is behind me and straining toward what is ahead.” Paul knows that not only can others hold things over us from our pasts, but we can do that to ourselves. Have you ever just beat yourself up over your past mistakes?
Let that stuff go! If you have made the decision to follow Christ and have been baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, that junk doesn’t exist in God’s memory. You are free! Philippians 3:14 says, “I press on toward the goal; to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus!”
So when we forgive…remember to forget!