How easy is it to forgive AND forget? Is this even possible? This is something I have been mulling over for a while now. I have always been a firm believer in forgiving people who have hurt you but protecting yourself from future harm. The way to do this is acknowledging their weak points and help them not to offend you again by refusing to make your past mistakes of over trusting them. For instance, if you know someone has a problem with stealing, you refrain from leaving money lying around when they are there. This way, you might have totally forgiven them for the last time they stole your stuff, but you sure are not letting it happen again.

Let me give a short illustration: If your friend gets angry easily and when angry, can scream at you publicly and say all manners of demeaning words to you, do you keep freely joking around her, knowing any little thing can tick her off or do you tread carefully or even at the extreme, gradually reduce contact since you know you don’t have the heart that can handle such? I know people who can fight now and speak vile words at each other and the next minute, they are back to being best buddies. But if you are the type of person who gets deeply hurt by words, do you keep putting yourself in the firing line? Is that even wise?

You know the passage about guarding your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life? Well, by knowing that a person has a weakness in a particular area, and refusing to let them hurt you, are you not so guarding your heart? If you keep letting someone hurt you because you have chosen to forget their weak points, you will keep getting hurt if they repeat it and this might even lead to bitterness which is a whole load of trouble in itself because the chances are high the unforgiveness will set in.

I underwent a bit of Bible research to find out if there is any part of the Bible that focussed on forgetting that someone has the tendency to err in a certain area because of your past experiences with them. I discovered quite a number of passages onforgiveness but not on forgetting. Is the whole concept of forgetting not Biblical?

Ephesians 4:26-27 says “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, {27} nor give place to the devil.

Hebrews 12:14-15 says we ought to “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. {15} See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Matthew 6:14-15 also tells us that “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. {15} But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Those are the types of messages I was receiving concerning forgiveness. Not once did I learn that we ought to wipe it off our heads. Please don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong in forgetting people’s wrongdoing to you. I have forgotten quite a number of wrong done to me. However, it was with time that this happened. After totally forgiving them and not feeling hurt anymore, I made an effort not to dwell on it anymore and with time (sometimes days, sometimes weeks, depending on the gravity), I totally forgot all about it. What I’m not entirely sure about, however, is whether this is something we ourselves should strive towards. Should we just let God do His thing in our lives and not try to delete the memories ourselves?

It is only God that I know forgives our iniquities and remembers them no more. The aim is to be perfect like God. However, I believe God Himself will work this in us. I also believe it is wise to learn people’s strengths and weaknesses and ensure that we do not play on their weak points. We can only do this by remembering how they once were. We pray for them but still refuse to lead them sin’s way.

We might remember the wrong done to us, but what we do with this memory is what is crucial. Do we feel bitter? Do we just want to ‘do our own back’?

1 Peter 4:8 says Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

So guys, do you think it is possible to forget totally that someone hurt you deeply? If yes, how do you get yourself to that point? A friend once argued that there really is no forgiveness when you don’t forget. How true do you think this is? Finally, if we leave an offender to God, is that true forgiveness?

Let’s muse!


Enjoy this song I discovered recently…