Forgive & Forget – Does anyone know how to do this in practice?
We had a visiting Pastor at church recently who engaged my subconscious mind into the present. And I didn’t enjoy it much to be honest. He preached on Relationshift: Forgiveness. Ps Evan Carmichael said that ‘unforgiveness’ makes your world smaller because you push out the people you don’t know how to forgive. That it makes your heart bitter and harden, and begins to limit your life.
Crikey….was he speaking to me? I did notice him looking over my way…
Ps Evan made the point ‘that if we hang on to the hurts of yesterday we won’t be able to reach forward and grab onto the promises that God has for us in the future’. Forgiveness is a huge part of living life he said. ‘If you want a good marriage you have to learn how to forgive – its vital, its actually essential! Learn to forgive quick…great advice if you can take it! We have to learn to let it go.’
You may be thinking why didn’t I enjoy this sermon much? So much wisdom. For me it was challenging to hear & process. The truth is I have had a pretty tough year and there have been some ‘moments of madness’ – and I wasn’t the mad one! Stuff happened to me and I have been struggling to move on. ‘You can let those things define you in life or you can decide to let them go and live the life that God wants you to live’. I have let what has happened ‘define’ me and it is holding me back. I know it but….
How do you forgive those that have hurt you? How do you turn the other cheek when the behaviour doesn’t change and the hurts keep coming?
Just because the person whose behaviour is unacceptable is family does not grant them forgiveness in my book and this is a point of difference with my husband. He believes that because they are family we need to ‘put the incidents in the past and look forward’…but the behaviour doesn’t change, and the hurts are repeated, and I can’t get seem to get past that.
And then there are those people that are not your family. How do you forgive a woman who manipulates your child from you stealing precious time you can never get back?
This saying popped up on my Facebook page. How appropriate I thought at the time. ”Always forgive but never forget…” Is that the answer though?
Facebook is a funny thing – you either hate it or love the ability it gives you to connect with friends and family around the world. It enables you to follow people of influence and of interest to you. One person I follow is Maria Shriver. Perhaps you know her as the ex-wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger or as the member of the Kennedy family. She is those things but much more. She is a journalist, activist and author of six best-selling books. She is also a mum to 4 grown kids with a strong Catholic faith.
As I was mulling over Ps Carmichael’s Sunday morning message and cruising the Facebook highway I came across an article that spoke on Forgiveness from ‘my friend’ Maria Shriver! Someone was telling me something I thought! (I’ll attach the link so you can read the whole article) But for me a couple of little gems:
- “You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’” – Maya Angelou
- “When you forgive someone, when you are generous, when you withhold judgment and you love, when you stand up for injustice – you bring in that moment heaven to earth.” – Bob Bell
So what’s the answer to my question of ‘Forgive & Forget – Does anyone know how to do this in practice?’.
My reading on this tells me that it is a different journey for each of us. You need to choose your own path and take the time you need to process everything. Ps Evan said that Forgiveness has the word Give in it. It is something we need to Give and it always takes Faith and doing it when you don’t think you can. For me I know that Forgiveness will set me free and I’m going to make a conscious step forward in this new year to ‘let it go’.
Happy forgiving xx