When We Forgive And Don’t Forget

As you read the following…I want you to ponder on its truth.  The blog below is from Hard Times Ministries.  This really resonates with me, because I have personally had some folks say to me, “I forgive you…but I’m not going to forget…”  I myself have tried to forgive some of the horrendous wrongs done to me in my lifetime…in fact, I thought I had forgiven the perpetrators , and forgotten their acts of cruelty against me; but then something comes up and that hurt, anger, resentment, and bitterness surfaces…and I know I still have not forgiven nor forgotten – not the way Jesus has done for me!  Take a look…I bet you’re right there with me…. anita


The idea of tossing sin into the Sea of Forgetfulness is a comforting concept.  While I’m not sure who came up with this idiom, it’s a good one and more or less based on:

 Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Or another passage (and many others in the Bible)

Hebrews 8:12

For I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more.

This is the type of response we have come to know about and from our Lord, Jesus and our Heavenly Father.  When we confess our sins, we desire for them to be washed away, gone forever, never to be brought up again.

Yet, in common practice most of us are as such:  “Okay, I will forgive him, but I will not forget.”
Statements like that generate problems and yes, I know how very human it is to feel that way.  However, forgiving and not forgiving ferments deep bitter feelings.


Jesus said:

Mark 11:25

25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Now here is where we have to get real. Our hearts, our feelings are to become as God and we are to forgive the same as we want God to forgive us.  This is not possible without forgetting.

I will admit this is next to impossible, nonetheless this is a commandment of Jesus.  It is a truism and there is no escape from that.

Of course, if someone stole something from you, it is hard to trust that person again.  If one committed murder to someone in your family, who would want that murderer to live next to you?  And this is the reality.

Jesus offers us forgiveness for far greater crimes against his Father in Heaven and we are to do the same.

Common sense explains that some sins against you take time to get over.  Any person who has gone through a divorce realizes this.  In fact, I dare say most all sins against us take time, and in that process we should strive to be like Christ and Christ minded.

The truth of all of this:  is this easy?  Is this even possible?

None of this is possible on earthly terms.  Yet, Jesus said all was possible with God.  Resultantly, then, we are to strive in that direction, knowing we haven’t arrived on that plain of goodness, of purity reaching the Mark of our Savior, the Christ.

However, I affirm and attest that if we are comfortable with forgiving and not forgetting, we are in fact failing to obey the words of Christ. So when we pray, let us throw all the sin, theirs and ours into that great body of water we call the sea of forgetfulness.  In that way we are one more step in serving our Master, Jesus the Christ.

T. F. Thompson