Forgiving and Forgetting
"For I will be merciful regarding their wrong deeds, and I will never again remember their sins." Hebrews 8:12 ISV
God tells us He will forgive us and forget our sins. He tells us that we are to do the same–well explicitly with forgiveness. But why is it that we can forgive things, but but there are some things that we seem incapable of forgetting?
There are many small indiscretions such as someone stepping on your foot are easy to forget, or someone bumping into you, but those more personal attacks against your heart are more difficult to throw away. I've learned that it is easy to forgive once you actually make the decision to do so, but it is much more difficult to forget because God equipped us with a memory. The sad thing is though, we seldom remember all of the sins we have committed against God, but don't forget when so and so said those hurtful things to you or about you. I've forgiven those who have hurt me, but there are just things that have been said and done that I must take a conscious mental note of.
The importance of remembering some things rang out to me in simplicity–the old saying "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." You don't want to be made a fool of. However for those things that attack the core of your being, your heart and your character, they are much more difficult to simply cast off and with reason. I myself prayed that God help me forget a very painful situation from my childhood and I have not been able to do so yet. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough, maybe I have not fully let go, or maybe I haven't fully forgiven those involved…and I do pray to God for that. But there is an importance of remembering certain things; maybe that is part of your ministry and calling here. I know that I am supposed to encourage others, teach and break down the Word, and among other things, help others heal through my own pain. The relevance of that situation is that I can minister to a group of people that not many others can because of my suffering. I have forgiven those involved, but I can now give healing and encouraging words through my own experiences. Be cognizant of that, because by you dwelling on that situation and not looking for the opportunity to minister to someone, you miss that chance to heal for yourself and you miss out on working for God!!
Sometimes God allows us to completely forget a situation in which forgiveness has played its part. Now don't misconstrue suppression or repression of the past for forgetting–you are simply ignoring the event and not operating in forgiveness. Pray to God for the path He wants you to take. But most of all remember that your pain is never your own; it is for you to share with others as a ministry. The tests we pass equip us to guide someone else through their own test. We are all here to help one another get into the Kingdom, even if it is through your own pain. Love y'all!
"He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:4 GWT
"No weapon formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of God and their righteousness is of me," says the Lord. Isaiah 54:17