Thursday, April 1, 2010

Forgive and Forget

We had a pretty good group discussion at church last night about what it means to forgive and why we shouldn't "forgive and forget". I read an article a couple of weeks ago about how harmful it is for people who hear again and again that they should forgive and forget. There are tons of people, young and old, who have been hurt in some pretty serious ways and are stuck with some pretty vivid memories and trauma that eats at their lives for years. Frequently when they have trouble "getting past it" other people will say to them "you should just forgive and forget". That is crazy. See, we need to figure out how to deal with the pains, that part is true. We can't keep holding hot anger about things or it will make us ill. But when do we need to forgive? When people ask us to forgive. Forgiveness doesn't mean I'm not upset about what happened. As one of my girls said so brilliantly last night, it means acknowledging that the other person is sorry for their actions. Wow, how insightful. As for forgetting - that is so dangerous! Imagine someone has sexually offended on you again and again and again. If you choose to "forgive and forget".. you're going to keep letting them do it. That means that you continue to let them offend on you. Why would you let them repeatedly hurt you? I know that isn't what Christ was saying when he said to forgive them 70x7!


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