Forgive Does not mean Forget

forgive

Forgive Does not mean Forget

I have gained many insights this week while listening to the discussions in our house churches. In one of our Fort Wayne groups, we talked about forgiveness. Some people have had terrible offenses to deal with…the murder of a close relative, divorce and theft.
Jesus teaching on the subject is clear in the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matt 6:12).
The simplest definition of forgiveness that I have heard is, “Choosing not to get even.”
Yet is it wise to forget?
 
I like the way William Paul Young sums up forgiveness, “Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat……Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established………Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation………Forgiveness does not excuse anything………You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness……”