Can you truly forgive without forgetting? That is a great question. Most of us were told as children to forgive and forget when someone hurt or did something against us. I found that to be difficult and even sometimes impossible. While I found forgiving someone to be fairly easy, I could not always forget. I felt bad about this. I thought that made me a terrible person. Have you ever felt that way?
Forgive and Forget
I mean sure, if someone took something from me or got mad at me or something that did not really impact my life. Those things are easier to forgive and forget and go on with life and the relationship. However, sometimes people can inflict such wounds on a person that they can be harmed for life. Some things can be forgiven, but not so easily forgotten. Have you been impacted in such a way? Do you need some relief so that you can be at peace and move on with your life? Can you truly forgive without forgetting?
Forgiving is Not Forgetting
What a relief! You can forgive someone for their offenses against you even if you can’t forget. It seems flippant to tell someone to just forgive and let it go when emotional and/or physical trauma has been experienced by the hand of another person. Sometimes much therapy is required for that person to recover and regain their footing in life. It may be that a boundary or even complete removal of the offender from the life of the offended is necessary. And that is ok. It is not wrong to protect yourself from further injury.
Does Forgiveness Always Mean Reconciliation?
Reconciliation can only occur when both people desire to mend the relationship. Even so, guard your heart. This is often the last step in the forgiveness process. The good news is that you can forgive your offender even without allowing them back into your life. Forgiveness is for you. It is to give you peace and comfort. If the offender actually asks for forgiveness, then it is a beautiful gift that is yours to give.
Listen to this great word from Max Lucado. You will be glad you did! I’m glad I did!