Can We Truly Forgive and Forget?

 

 Tell someone who has hurt you that forgive them and are no longer angry.

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Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency

I often have discussions about the difference between “forgiving” and “forgetting.”  I am pretty strong in my perspective on this.  I am never going to forget what Dick Fisher did to me in 6th grade.  He pushed me over in the playground and then got a group of his friends to threaten to beat me up.  Fortunately, it did not amount to much.  But I won’t forget it.  However, within a month I forgave him.  I could give scores of example, some much more significant than that , but I just want to make my point.  We can forgive without forgetting. Let me go a little further with a concept that is murkier – letting go. Sometimes we can spiritually or intellectually forgive, without emotionally letting go. I do believe that spiritual forgiveness can sometimes be an important step toward letting go emotionally. It’s not the whole journey but sometimes a liberating first step.  While I am not a counselor or therapist, I professionally interact with enough people to know how valuable they are in helping people to let go. Sometimes we can only let go with the help of another.  Sometimes that is a friend or family member but other times it is a professional counselor. Don’t be afraid to ask for help of give the help when  you notice someone needs it. Maybe Lent can be a time to take that step if needed.  I will probably come back to more on this later in Lent.     

 

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