How to forgive when you cannot forget?

God has blessed me with a good memory and unfortunately, it includes memory of the hurtful things people did to me. With the famous says «forgive and forget» I am in trouble because I struggle to forget.

When someone offends me, I try very hard to avoid the issue because as a good Christian (trying at least), I am supposed to forget what I have forgiven. Because I do not deal with the issue, resentment and bitterness start to settle. I feel like a hypocrite and guilty because I know I am just pretending to forget, but I haven’t.

The worst thing is when these emotions I try to suppress comes out. It always comes out very ugly and I would feel like all the efforts I made come to nothing. I feel like I have lost all the miles or point I have accumulated.

By the way, I also struggle to forget my own fault and mistakes and as a result I struggle to accept God’s forgiveness. It was like that until God gave me this simple revelation: the book of Hebrews 12:24 says that the blood of Jesus speaks better thing (mercy and forgiveness) than the blood of Abel (condemnation).

Forgiveness is not about forgetting. Forgiveness is accepting that the blood of Jesus responds to those acts, attitude and thoughts that are wrong. It is speaking in agreement with the blood of Jesus and saying «mercy».

So when someone offends me, and the thoughts of that offence comes back to my mind, I can say «what that person did was very hurtful to me. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forget, but I accept that the blood of Jesus is enough to cover it. I agree with the blood and I say mercy.»

In the past I would try to avoid it, but the thoughts would torture me and in my heart I would call for justice and speak condemnation. Without knowing I was standing on the side of the accuser in the courtroom of heaven. Now, I do not deny the offence and the hurt, but at the same time I accept the grace that flows from the cross of Jesus. I now stand on Jesus’ side in the court of heaven.

The book of Revelations says that Satan is defeated with the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony. When he reminds me of something someone did, I no longer stand with him and testify condemnation. I agree with the fact that there was offence and hurt, but I also accept that payment has been made and I bring a testimony of mercy, forgiveness and grace.

To look at the cross of Jesus instead of dwelling in the hurt and the offence still requires the help and the power of the Holy Spirit. But at least, I am now channeling my effort to the right direction, learning to look at Jesus instead of trying to forget what was done.

So how do you forgive when you cannot forget? You do not have to forget, you just have to accept the truth that payment has been made and agree with the blood by saying mercy. Do it every time the memory comes to your mind and you will see that the hurt and pain attached to the memory will slowly dissipate.

Thanks for reading and God bless.

You can contact us at ben.gabryella@gmail.com

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