Join Us Today!

Join our non-denominational community with 10,000+ members and more than 50,000 monthly visitors today. Engage in bible discussions, studies, prayer support and friendly fellowship.

Forgive but don't forget?

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Property Of God, Apr 27, 2008.

Random Thread
  1. #1 Property Of God, Apr 27, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2008
    God assures us, that when he forgives our sins, he forgets them aswell.
    I'm amazed... He doesn't only forgive our dark bad sides when it comes out, but he wipes it completely off his mind. says:

    Question: "Does the Bible instruct us to forgive and forget?"

    Answer: The phrase "forgive and forget" is not found in the Bible. However, there are numerous scriptures commanding us to “forgive one another” (Matthew 6:14; Ephesians 4:32). A Christian who does not forgive can reap bitterness and the loss of eternal rewards (Hebrews 12:14-15; 2 John 1:8). Forgiveness is a decision of the will. Since God commands us to forgive, we must make a conscious choice to forgive. This frees the forgiving one from the past. The offender may not desire forgiveness and may not change (Matthew 5:44). Ideally the offender will seek reconciliation, but if not, the one wronged should still make known their decision to forgive.

    In some senses, it is impossible to truly forget sins that have been committed against us. We cannot selectively "delete" events from our memory. The Bible states that God does not "remember" our wickedness (Hebrews 8:12). God is all-knowing. God knows that we have “sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). However, having forgiven us, He treats us as if the sin had not occurred. If we belong to Him through faith in Christ, God does not hold our sins against us. In that sense we must "forgive and forget." If we forgive someone, we must act as if that sin had never occurred. We remember the sin, but we live as if we did not remember it. Ephesians 4:32 tells us, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

    We say that we forgive someone and try to act like we do, but still once someone has sinned against us, we regard this person as cruel and wicked, like we have put this someone on our *Black list*.

    If we do not forget the sins, and hold grudges to everyone who makes a mistake, we'll put all humanity on our black list, with our name on the top of the list.

    Forgive and Forget
    Luis Palau
    Renowned Evangelist
    My friend, has anyone ever offended you? Has your spouse been unfaithful? Have your children disappointed you? Has someone cheated you in business? How we respond to the difficult experiences of life directly affects our spiritual well-being.

    My father died when I was only ten years old. He left us quite a bit of property and some money. But his four brothers squandered everything we had. In three years my family was living in poverty and debt.

    When I was older and really understood what they had done, I urged my mother to take revenge on them, to get a lawyer to take them to court and let them have it. The older I got, the more bitter I became.

    But the Bible says, Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for Gods wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge, I will repay, says the Lord (Romans 12:19). He is the One who measures out justice. He wants to handle such judgment for us -- perhaps now, certainly ultimately.

    Forgiving Others

    My mother always quoted verses like Romans 12:19. She completely forgave my uncles for what they did. It took us 20 years to finish paying our debts. But she simply refused to become bitter. She forgot what they had done. Consequently, God gave her a freedom of spirit and opportunities to serve the Lord. I experienced that same freedom and fruitfulness later when I, too, forgave my uncles.

    How deeply have you been hurt, my friend? Have you become bitter or unforgiving in your attitude?

    I would like to remind you of the story of Joseph. The Bible gives us many reasons why Joseph could have been a very bitter man. His brothers hated him and sold him into slavery. His masters wife falsely accused him of a serious crime and had him thrown into an Egyptian prison. A government official promised to help him yet left him there to rot. Despite all these things, Joseph did not allow any root of bitterness to take hold in his life (Hebrews 12:15).

    As many lives are spoiled by bitterness and a lack of forgiveness as by almost anything in the world. People go through physical and emotional breakdowns because they refuse to forgive others. The longer we carry a grudge, the heavier it becomes. We cannot afford to harbor bitterness in our soul.

    The Bible says, Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).

    I encourage you to read the story of Josephs life in Genesis 37-50. It is an exciting portion of Scripture! This passage teaches us many valuable lessons on the importance of forgiveness.

    Setting Matters Right

    For twenty years Josephs brothers carried the debilitating burden of guilt within their hearts for what they had done to their brother. Each time they found themselves in a predicament they said, Surely we are being punished because of our brother (Genesis 42:21). For twenty long years they were haunted by a skeleton they kept locked in a closet. Is there a skeleton hidden in your closet, my friend?

    Rudyard Kipling said it well: Nothing is ever settled until it is settled right. We can point our finger and make up excuses, we can invent arguments and do anything else we want, but the key to the closet jingles in our pocket until we settle matters right.

    How long have you kept a skeleton in your closet? Oh, you desperately keep that skeleton locked in some closet of your soul. You hope no one ever probes there. You hope no one ever finds a key and says, Ah! There it is!

    I beg you to take that skeleton out of your closet. Confess your sin to God and to whomever you have offended. Get rid of it and experience Gods forgiveness.

    Certain things may never be quite the same, but you can start walking with God again. With total freedom and complete joy you will be able to look at every man and woman in the eye. Why? Because youre clean. Forgiven. At peace with God and others.

    The Bible says, Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed (James 5:16). Confession is the healing balm of our soul. Our confession, however, should only be as wide as the scope of our transgression.

    Forgiveness. We need to seek it whenever we realize we have offended someone else. We also need to offer it whenever others hurt us.

    Forgetting the Past

    After entering into the experience of forgiveness, forgetfulness is vital. Joseph called his first-born son Manasseh, saying, It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my fathers household (Genesis 41:51). Joseph not only forgave his brother, but he forgot the evil deeds they had committed against him.

    During the latter part of Josephs life, his father, Jacob, died. Josephs brothers again feared for their lives. They thought Joseph hadnt really forgiven them and would take revenge on them at last.

    Joseph only wept when he realized their concern and said, You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good (Genesis 50:20). Joseph could see the sovereign, merciful hand of God at work in his life. He had completely forgiven his brothers and forgotten their offense years before, and longed for them to experience that forgiveness themselves.

    Forgiving Yourself

    Have you learned to forgive yourself for your past failures? Have you purposefully tried to forget them after confession and restitution took place?

    Unless we learn how to forget past sins, we will always live in that past. Bitterness or guilt will continue to eat away at us like a cancer.

    Paul had persecuted the Church as a zealous Pharisee. He had committed terrible sins. Yet afterwards as a Christian he said, Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14). He didnt dwell on his past failures.

    Joseph learned to forget about the offenses of others. Paul learned to forget his own sins after he had confessed them and made things right. We need to learn the same lesson of forgiveness today. All of us encounter potentially devastating experiences. How we respond to these situations determines our own well-being and the well-being of others.

    Keeping Short Accounts

    Forgive and be forgiven. And then forget it. This is the secret of spiritual health. Keep short accounts with God and men. Dont lock bitterness and guilt within the closet of your soul.

    Allow the Holy Spirit to shine His divine spotlight in your heart. Let Him clean out every closet in your soul. Then claim Gods wonderful promise, 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).

    May you experience His cleansing and healing today!

    How can I forgive a friend who has greatly wronged or disappointed me?
    Make grace a state where you live.
    Romans 7:21-8:5

    Has a friend deliberately hurt you and shown no regret? Or maybe he's remorseful, but your wounds are deep? Admit it: Forgiveness is never easy. But you can make it a bit easier by recognizing that every Christian (even you) struggles with sin (7:8). Some struggles are more obvious, but we all fight to do right. The Bible says we do the evil we want to avoid; we don't do the good we aspire to. Realizing we're comrades in this battle makes it easier to show grace—underserved love—to our brother and sister soldiers.

    There's a mistaken belief you have to forget in order to forgive. But only God can do that. Rather than struggle to forgive or forget the wrong, move to the state of grace. Whatever your friend did wrong, he doesn't deserve your love. He doesn't deserve your forgiveness. But quite honestly, you don't deserve God's forgiveness either; yet he loves you anyway. If you allow him to, God will work with both of you to free you from the separation sin causes. Forgiveness isn't a feeling but an action. So express God's grace through deliberately showing care to your friend.

    With God to empower you, you can choose to treat your friend as forgiven, even when you don't feel like it. Then freedom comes to you both. (See also Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 3:12-14.)

    Good Words to Remember:
    God [set you free] be sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin; he condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3, 4

    Today's Challenge:
    Are you trying to forgive and forget? If so, why not try it God's way instead?
  3. I did forgive and I did forget.

    Hope the person who wanted to read that post, now will
    Be blessed.
  4. In the phrase "forgive and forget", "forget" means to let go of any desire to condemn the offender and exact revenge. It does not mean that we have to put the incident out of our minds and lay ourselves bare to more hurt.

    Remember what Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 10:16 - "I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

  5. The O.P. is excellent and vital to our to our understanding of practical Christianity. The quote I have taken touched my heart. The whole post expresses a vital ingredient we/ I certainly need to be reminded of every day.

    70 x 7 we are to forgive Jesus said.

    Thankyou for that Nermeen......and God Bless he does.
  6. These are excellent verses concerning forgiveness as well as keeping in step with Christ in obedience to His word.

    I have a few questions and possibly some areas not touched on. Have you ever had a person who constantly brings up something you’ve done wrong that hurt them? You have already begged their forgiveness but they continually slap you in the face with past offences they claim to have forgiven. Quite possibly things that you no longer do.

    In contrast to this, your experience of another person who refuses to bring up the past offences because they have forgiven you brings peace. Maybe the offence to this person has been forgiven by them five times before you discontinue the offence but not once did they bring up the past four times to you.

    An all knowing God who forgets? Or more to the point, an all knowing God who has forgiven and refuses to bring to your mind the sin He has forgiven. Fortunately, God is not a forgetful absentminded professor type. He knows exactly what He has forgiven each and everyone of us.

    Why then are we constantly reminded of any one given offence? Why does this, which we are forgiven for, constantly come to mind? Because Satan wishes to keep us down and will bring our dirty little secrets to mind every chance he gets; which brings us to the section of ‘forgiving ourselves”

    When we ask forgiveness of God and claim He has forgiven us, why then do we place ourselves above Him claiming that we can not forgive ourselves? Are we a greater judge than God and greater powers to forgive? How do we get past the constant reminder of our sin that seems unrelenting at times?

    Each time Satan brings an offence to mind that God has already forgiven, we must praise God for all He forgives and has taught through the experience. Thankfulness for all He has brought us through. And humble gratitude for exposing the filth that only He can cleanse from us.

    No, the continuous reminders of our sin are not brought to mind by God who has forgiven; but rather from Satan who wishes to keep us downtrodden and oppressed. His plan is to keep us focused on ourselves rather than to see the mercy and grace of God’s forgiveness.

    Genesis 50:20 doesn’t appear that Joseph had ‘forgotten’ his brother’s offence to him when he says ‘You intended to harm me,” but rather in verse 19 he points out that he has not taken the place of God. He remembers that they had intended harm to him but God intended it for all their good in that Joseph was now in a position to save many lives. Had he not been sold into slavery, he may not have had the chance to provide for himself let alone his brothers and their families. He also reassured them and spoke kindly to them. Something that true forgiveness shows to the offender. Had he not forgiven them, he could not have talked kindly to them nor have lived with them until his death.

    We are not to dwell on our past and holding it like an albatross around our neck like our mightier than God ‘forgive yourself’ implies. Nor can we forget that it ever happened. Our past, good bad and otherwise is what has made up who we are today.

    Moving past the offences done to us rather than constant dwelling on them and learning from the offences we caused rather than constantly beating ourselves up with them is a source for growth. And each time Satan brings up our sins of the past, we can praise God for the lessons learned and His forgiveness. (something Satan really hates to hear)

    I most definitely agree with your statement “How we respond to these situations determines our own well being and the well-being of others.”
  7. If we are to forgot, how then do we have a testimony? Just a thought. :)

    If I can't remember what God has brought me from, what then?
  8. I think I am a pretty good feller, most of the time.
    I forgive and do not dwell on it, to do so only causes hate and discontent so over the years with Gods help I learned to just forgive, walk away from it and even be cordial and helpful to someone that has done me harm.

    However I will not trust them. I will not open myself up to a second round, well maybe, but for sure not a third time. I have tried that second time a couple times, and again had to smile at my own ignorance. So now I had to forgive myself for being so gullible. I was more mad at me than at them, for being such a dummy.

    God has never placed in my heart that I need to trust them. Forgive them yes, let it go, yes, dismiss it and be nice yes, trust and allow them another chance? No, not at all.

    Some people are just evil, they are not going to change, not ever.

    Someone said, was it Solomon?? Be gentle as a lamb, but cunning as a snake. That applies to the modern world. Do them no harm, bear them no ill will, and yes actually forget it, push it away, but if you come into contact with them again, have your radar on.

  9. Exactly! So often we wish to forget what has happened to us AND forget what we have done to others that cause harm. In the attempt to do so, we miss not only the lesson He taught but also the blessing of His utmost power, grace and mercy.
  10. I’m not sure why ‘trust’ comes into the picture of ‘forgive’ but it often does. For me it did as well for a long time and it’s foolish to believe that just because you forgive someone you must then trust them.

    Trust has nothing what so ever to do with forgiving a person. And yes, dwelling on an offence causes hatred and bitterness. Praising God for all He has gotten you through each and every time this person’s name is brought to mind, and forgiving them once again if need be, is far from dwelling on the past. But rather seeing that our own strength is nothing compared to God’s and the power He uses to open our eyes.

    For example, it took four bitter hate filled years, a few ruined relationships along the way because of that blindness, and a stagnant relationship with Christ to make me see what my unforgiveness was not only doing to me but to all those around me. More importantly what my disobedience was doing to my relationship with Christ.

    The only way “trust” could possibly be considered in relation to “forgive” is when the offender is truly repentant, gives their life to Christ and THEN SHOWS by their actions that they can indeed be trusted.

    Can a murderer of a loved one be forgiven? I believed they could, until it happened to me. I vowed never to forgive. Would I have to trust this person? It was then I understood trust has nothing to do with forgiveness. I will never trust Patrick, but I have learned to forgive him and pray for his salvation and well being. Should he come to Christ, he will have some proving to do before any trust goes his way. One day, I hope to talk with him to plant the seeds and watch as God makes them grow.

    Forget what this man did? No. Trust this man? No. Forgive this man? Yes and praise God for the many lessons He and only He has taught along the way. The same can be said for those who aim to destroy but we have no clue who they may be. We forgive and pray for our enemies but trust does not come into the picture.

    Rather than ‘forgive yourself for being gullible” why not praise God for opening your eyes to the fact that ‘trust’ has nothing to do with forgiveness? As you say, and I agree, God never commanded that we ‘trust’ the one we are to forgive.
  11. #11 Kit Carson, Oct 24, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
    Yes Maam:

    Praise to God for all he shows us. If we really do wish to learn and open our hearts to what he will teach us, we can learn a great deal.
    God has taught me a lot, I asked him today to teach me how to better convey these things to others. I am not well educated and not very good with the written word, so I just talk to people one on one as God talks to me about things.

    We are on the same thought. Very much so. I can tell God has talked to you to. That to me is great. It shows me I have listened well myself. I did explain it so it is understood. I was trying.

    As for the gullible thing, you do have to watch me, I always have a humorous outlook at myself. So what did you do this time stupid. I know I was not gullible, I just wanted things to work out better, but one does learn sometimes they do not. So you do forgive but you keep one eye shut the next time, or should I say both of them wide open.

    Take Care

  12. Amen to that brother! He shows so much, BUT the eyes HAVE to be wide opened.... lol.

    I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page or at least in the same vicinity thereof.... lol

    It would appear to me that you are well educated in many ways. I have met many an educated idiot with the PhD, Masters and BS behind their names who haven't a clue to the teachings of Christ or life in general.

    I'm not well educated either but am working on my LLFC degree. And as far as the written word, spell checker keeps interferin with the way I talk!

    God bless
  13. Good for you on your view of forgiveness, for God Himself tells us exactly how He forgives, leaving us His example and How He defines forgiveness, so that we only need but to hear His Word:
    "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12)

Share This Page

Users Who Have Read This Thread (Total: 0)