You cannot forget how someone hurt you. The words are seared into your brain. What if the phrase forgive and forget is a lie? What then?
What would happen if you forgot all your pain and sorrow? Would forgiveness be necessary? I think not. There would be no pain, no lesson to learn. You forgive because you remember.
What if, instead of forgive and forget, the goal was to forgive and move on? How would that change your perspective?
For that truly is the goal when you encounter a chance to forgive.
The following three steps assist me to forgive and move on:
Acknowledge Your Anger
Release your anger in a constructive way to clear the way to healing. Have you dealt with your anger yet?
“In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26
This verse tells you to deal with your anger, whether it’s the very same day or over a period of time. Some anger takes many days and weeks to work out, but work it out to start the healing process.
Prayer allows God to work change in us. Jesus is called counselor and healer because he yearns for you to be whole and complete. Have you asked Him for healing? If you are willing, ask right now, “Jesus, please heal this pain and make me whole again. Please give me _______ (compassion, forgiveness, peace, comfort, joy, etc.)”
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
Choose Your Thoughts Over Time
Let healing prayer and God work through time as well as make a choice to change your thoughts.
Just as you cannot forget, God cannot either. As Isaiah 43:25 says, “I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” You also have the same choice, to focus on the transgression or to not remember it. Do your thoughts bring you closer to healing or not? You choose your thoughts wisely.
“A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9