Just the other day I was in church, pastor Samparay (a friend) was preaching a wonderful sermon during which he said something about forgiveness. And like it regularly happens, my mind flew over so many things trying to make other meanings from that word apart from what he was saying and like suddenly, something wonderful just dawned on me like it has never done before. I realized for the first time that the words forgive and forget which usually go hand in hand actually have more similarities and close tie to one another just like giving and getting does than we often notice. I saw this perspective that to For-give and for-get is actually to-give and to-get. I’ll try and build a small opinion around this in the next paragraphs.
It is not enough to forgive; we should also try to forget because forgiving without forgetting is like sowing a seed and then neglecting the harvest. When we forgive, it is like we are doing our offender a favor, it’s like we are giving them a gift, which is a good thing. But then for the benefits of ourselves we ought to also forget because when we forget, it’s like we are getting a favor back in return; like we are giving ourselves a Gift as well.
Now this sounds silly and probably different from what we’ve always heard about this subject, I know too. But come to think of it, could this not be the principle the only wise God is also operating when he said:
Isa 43:25 I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (AMP) emphasis mine
When God forgives he forgets. He doesn’t bring up again old issues. And he said here that he does it for his own sake. Of course, it’s not because he has a dull memory that he forgets, rather he chooses to. It is a conscious effort from his own side to choose not to remember them because when we choose to not forget but rather keep record of the wrongs done to us, we are doing ourselves more harm than good.
Forgiving without forgetting is like paying the cashier at the mall for the stuffs you buy and then refusing to pick the goods when you are done. Forgiveness is like killing the house rat disturbing your home, while forgetting is you deciding to dispose its corpse when you are done. If you don’t, it just might stink you to death. So God allows the annoying rats of our sins to die by forgiving them, then he picks up the corpse and throws it into the ocean where it can never be remembered again because keeping it will only stink his house which we are. So even God believes that to For-give and for-get is actually to-give and to-get (so don’t expect him to query you about some stuffs at judgment day- he has long forgotten about them).
Like earlier said, you don’t and can’t possibly format your memory like you can a memory card, forgetting is a conscious effort you do by consciously deciding not to bring up old issues whenever the opportunity arises. So it is not that you can wipe them off your memory, but rather you can choose to pay no attention to them and dis-attach yourself from any offense previously taken. I understand that at times, unconsciously, these things do come back by themselves. The only cure I have so far found to dealing with unconscious thoughts and habits is to consciously do the reverse and subdue them.
BRINGING IT HOME.
Let’s bring this entire story to an end. Apostle Paul said ‘Of course, my friends, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.’ A new year is ahead of us and we are all reaching for it. That is new challenges, new opportunities and new victories. 2013 must have had its ups and downs, highs and lows. There might have been people who hurt us, and situations that disappointed us. However, as we move into a new season we need to let go completely of the old wine of 2013. We need to forgive and also forget. We need to bury those dead rats of the season gone by forever! Forgive the people who hurt you and forgive yourself also. You are not only doing them a favour, you are doing yourself a greater favour. Reach for the better things and don’t let the things behind pull you to the back. Though the bible says it’s better to give than to get, it never said that getting is a bad thing; so perhaps its more important to forgive than to forget, it is however important also to forget. Ghandhi said “forgiveness is an attribute of the strong”, I add that forgetting afterwards is a principle of the wise and the God-kind.
Have a splendid new year.
Soaga afolabi o
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