I’ve talked before about the power of forgiveness and how liberating it can be. Forgiveness isn’t an option, it’s a command and therefore our obligation. Most, if not all, of us have been neglected, mistreated, abused or misused to some degree in our lives and guess what, we’ll continue to have these encounters simply because we’re living and breathing human beings. Most of us would love to see our offenders brought to justice or get what we feel would be their rightful payback and so we feel like forgiving these offenders in a sense is like letting them off the hook to get away with the pain they caused us. Well, guess what I learned. Forgiveness isn’t about you. It’s not even about them for that matter, It’s about God. Wouldn’t it be a shame if we went through the grief and didn’t get anything out of it. Not a single thing? The key is to forgive but not forget. Some say, well how can I forgive and not forget. Authentic forgiveness allows us to have peace with the situation and our offender. I’m not saying that we give it to God in forgiveness and with a blink of an eye the pain will go away. Not at all. I’m saying that true forgiveness is an interesting thing, in that it will allow you to begin the process of healing so that you can make room for understanding and insight to take place.
I’ve come to realize that all of the times I’ve been done wrong in my life and been put in a position where I need to forgive someone, that the reason why it’s so hard for me to forgive at times, was because I was mistaking forgives for forgetting. God never asked us to forget, He asked us to forgive. If He had intended us to forget, I’m sure that in all of his brilliance He would have included a mechanism in our brains that would wipe the slate clean and allow us to forget the events that caused our pain. But, no, we don’t forget. We remember and what we remember most is the pain we felt, almost like a scar. A scar to remind us so that we can help others.