Do We Have to Forget to Forgive?

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”- 1 John 1:9

Easy enough right? Well, what if you confess, pray for forgiveness, seek repentance, and yet you still feel the same… well, as much as I hate to say it, that would be lack of forgiveness.  For a long time I viewed forgiveness inaccurately, you say sorry to someone who hurts you and suddenly the tally board is erased. Or, maybe you hurt someone else, said something callous in the heat of the moment and now you’re left waiting around till they decide to stop giving you the cold shoulder.  But the truth

beach-690125_1280is, neither one of these emulate true forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the personal choice of relinquishing feelings of distaste or negativity towards a person or group, regardless if they are worthy of it.  Ahh, so this is where it’s challenging.  Forgiveness is given, but… it’s something that we choose, deep down inside.  That’s the catch.  Sometimes we don’t want to relinquish those feelings of negativity towards someone, because we don’t want to condone or neglect the mistakes or hurt from others or ourselves.

So, if we actively choose to harbor negativity we are actively choosing to live with the eternal cloud of gloom, projecting prejudice onto those who never deserved it.  Where does the line get drawn in the sand when it’s covered in sharp shells and stray strands of seaweed?

Compromise…the sweet sound of concession.  Forgive, in order to better yourself.  Yes, it provides the culprit with a sense of peace, knowing you no longer hold a grudge, but more so it releases you from the tight grasp, allowing you to walk away with healed scars.  But forgiving doesn’t mean you have to forget.  It can be good to remember in order to prevent the past from repeating. But relinquish any prejudice you hold to those who don’t deserve it.

Where does this leave us? “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if
hot-air-ballooning-436442_1920you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses”-Mark 11:25.  It’s hard and it’s painful; It’s a true act of selflessness to forgive someone.  Imagine how often God goes through this when we ask for his.  But if we didn’t exercise the same grace we would never know what it feels like to be close to him. It’s going to happen, we are going to hurt and severly offend one another, sometimes beyond repair.  But let’s vow to not let the wrong doings of ourselves and others prevent us from living enriched lives.

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