This week in Weekend Wandering, David invites us to write about whether we believe in "Forgive and Forget." You can follow people's posts and comments by linking to him.
Ideally we should all forgive and forget, because that is the right thing and certainly the Christian thing to do. However it is not always an easy thing to do and I often have had to really struggle with this. I definitely believe we should try though.
When I first thought about this subject, a bridge came to mind, with forgiveness on one side and forgetting on the other. Its the forgetting bit that is so difficult. We walk across the bridge thinking we have forgiven and when we reach the other side we are remembering again! Remembering can fuel up anger and resentment and we are back where we started.
Of course some things are more easy to forgive and forget than others. If it is a friend who upset you in an ordinary kind of way, then its relatively easy to forgive and forget the whole thing. However, just suppose that your best friend has done something terrible, like run off with your husband or wife, for instance! Well, it does happen sometimes and that would be hard to forgive, let alone forget.
I have heard of people who have had a child or another close relative murdered and somehow that murderer has been forgiven by a living relative of the deceased. We live in an age where we are encouraged to pay back and get revenge. It must feel, at the beginning, as though that is what you want to do. Make them pay........ get even in some way. It can't change anything and indeed it might be better to forgive, but how could you forget a thing like that? Yet people do it. They wipe the slate clean. Who knows whether I would be strong enough to do that? I hope I never have to find out.
I suppose every one has some one in their family that holds a grudge that is never forgotten. We are no exception to this rule and I did once try to go round and make peace with the person in question. It was Christmas, the time of peace and goodwill towards all men. However we were ordered to get off the threshold or the Police would be called. Well, that is pretty well impossible to solve, isn't it? The contempt that family member feels for us is not forgotten, but we don't dwell on it. I would forgive it if the relative would meet me half way. No good to dwell on it though as it would eat away at me like cancer. So it is semi forgotten, below the surface and that is the best I can do under the circumstances.
Sometimes, disputes simply cannot be solved and the only thing that can be done is to find some peace in the fact that you are willing to forgive if the other person will receive it. If not, then you have to try to "let it go." Give it to God or whatever supreme being you'd like to call upon. The secret is not to take it back! That's the difficult part.
So yes, I believe in forgive and forget, but I am still working on perfecting it! I'll be interested to hear how others manage to do this and admire them if they have been successful!