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Forgive But Not Forget

Is it wrong to forgive, but not forget?

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 ---Stacey on 8/15/06
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When people hurt me I just give it to my Father Almighty in heaven. I have learned to give all the hurts and lies and things that sinners do against me to my Father, and he always does what is best. He really does take the very best care of us his own children. The best thing to do is when someone does a hurt to you, is pray and give it to God Almighty right away before their offense has any chance to find a place in your life. God knows, he knows everything, he tells us to give all our cares to him because he cares for us. Amen? Amen.
---Eloy on 4/17/12

//when you've forgiven you can remember and have no bitterness, no blame, and in fact are able to love, pray for the offender, even have our hearts break for that person and their condition.
---chria9396 on 7/20/11///

Big Amen!
---char on 4/16/12

it is the right thing to forgive but you have to ask GOD to help u with the forgetting part. it takes time but with God's help it can go away. just keep praying and asking God to help u 2 forget this hurt.
---phyllis on 7/21/11

I agree, forgetting is not forgiving. With time, even some unbelievers, have wrongs fade in their memory. Obviously then there has been no forgiveness. The world may think of that fading away as forgiveness and healing, however, that seed is still deep within, and will in some way at some point some to fruition. Again, I agree with the idea that when you've forgiven you can remember and have no bitterness, no blame, and in fact are able to love, pray for the offender, even have our hearts break for that person and their condition.
---chria9396 on 7/20/11

think it's probably,NOT wrong to Remember Like anything you go thru.. NOT continously,torment your mind the wrong someone did..give GOD thanks you got through it..Don't let fester inside..WISDOM ALWAYS GOOD!Move on n GOD! I HAD DEAL ALOT WITH THIS! 1Th.,Think good thoughts, JMS.Don't give place to the devil. Also,pray for that person! don't let the devil still your joy!
---ELENA on 7/19/11

The memory serves to help us learn wisdom, "once burned, twice shy". There is nothing wrong with having a good memory.
---Eloy on 7/10/11

If you are able to forgive each time you remember the wrong, than there is no problem. For many people, each time we remember the wrong, we also go back to blaming - then it's better to forget
---peter on 7/10/11

Forgiveness isn't forgetfulness. God equiped us for every facet of living and one way we learn and grow strong and gain wisdom is to remember the bad things in life that we had to bear. Never to dwell on them but to be ready to avoid them due to our knowledge gained by previous experience. Forgiveness is truely not holding any harsh feelings against the one who did you wrong. The Bible Luke 6:27,28 teaches us to do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us and pray for those who dispitefully use us. 1 Peter 4:8 Love covers a mulitude of sins. God forgives our sin and never lets it color his opinion of us,we are to do the same. Unforgiveness is like a wound which hurts the unforgiving person more than the one not forgiven.
---Darlene_1 on 7/10/11

get busy in prayer asking for help to forgive and taking action all day every day to be grateful

If you haven't forgot then you are holding on to whatever "wrong" you perceive was committed against you. Most likely person who "wronged" you thinks nothing of their actions anymore especially if they offered a genuine apology.

Everyday pray for forgiveness UNTIL one day you forget to pray ...because you forgot the wrong

forgiveness is not instantaneous takes action ...when you become more grateful for every small thing in life it truly is impossible to have any room left over to remember or reminisce over any "wrongs"
---Rhonda on 7/9/11

---John on 7/7/11

Firstly, in Matthew 6 Jesus talks about forgiveness, and the implication is that we will receive forgiveness in proportion to how we give it. I think one of the reasons we recall sins against us is because we have a sense of imbalance or inequity, as if justice has not been served and the offender still owes us a debt. This (to me) is fundamental self-righteousness, we excuse ourselves before God, whilst keeping accounts of wrongs we have suffered.
---Stephen_Legan on 7/3/11

Donna66, what a great answer you gave. That is really what happens when someone truely forgives someone. They really never forget what happen to them, they just don't feel the bitterness they felt when they were wronged. In fact you want the best for them, and in hope that they come to Christ and repent one day, for their own sakes. We are given a time to share with each other and when someone hurts us by leaving us, we should wish the best for them if we truely have love for them. Depending on the pain we occured, the time will be different. Many never do forgive, and live a life wasted in hate. It effects you and everyone around you, and not the person you hate.
---Mark_V. on 7/3/11

Donna66: "You know you have forgiven, when you CAN remember without feeling bitterness." That's a really good point! I will add, that not only is bitterness gone, but there's is love, unconditional for the person forgiven, whether they, (in our opinions) deserve it or not, whether or not they have repented/sought forgiveness. I am convinced that forgiveness is extremely powerful spiritually.
---Christina on 7/3/11

You know you have forgiven, when you CAN remember without feeling bitterness. "Forgiving" by just merely putting the offense out of mind is supression, not forgiveness.
---Donna66 on 7/2/11

I am working on a thesis for christian counseling and my topic is Forgetting, YES. Forgetting, ????
This thesis is from a biblical world view. The main idea- as Christians we are suppose to forgive as Christ forgave. That being said and settled the next question is ... Is forgiving a part of the forgiveness process or is it something altogether different? The experience caused a memory do we use this in God's favor as some others have done? Ex. MADD or Americas Most Wanted or initiating law so that the same thing does not happen to another? Seek replies on this subject. Thanks
---lwheeler on 7/1/11

the things people do to hurt us God uses to built Godliness and character. Forgiveness is commanded and it should be immediate but forgetting is not accomplished over night. We are told to talk captive every though to the obedience of Christ, so it will come but as long as you don't open the wound again by dwelling on it.
---willa5568 on 4/20/11

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The only way that I could live was to forgive the person who murdered my mother and sister. I was eaten up with bitterness and I ask the Lord to take that away. The Lord did so, as soon as I ask.
How can a person forget why their family is no longer in this world? I do not believe that it states anywhere in the Bible that we must forget.
---sue on 4/17/11

While it's impossible for humans to totally forget something (short of amnesia, brain damage, etc.), it is possible to no longer call things to mind.

If someone wrongs you, and you haven't forgiven him, the wrong will constantly come back to remind you. But if you forgive him, you will still remember, but you will stop thinking about it constantly, unless something outside actively reminds you.
---StrongAxe on 8/28/10

Well, lets go with the forgiving first. That takes God. It is impossible to just forgive. Weeel, I forgive u. It must come from the Person of the holy spirit. You do not, I repeat you do not even have to work on it. GOD IS GREAT. NOW, the forgetting part of it: This takes exercising one's mind. When Satan throws an unpleasant incident in your mind you must kick it out. There will be times when you must call on God for help in this, because, Satan can also exercise his prowess-less. Also, sometimes God may want you to address an issue. Do so.
---catherine on 8/28/10

Only God can do that.
---Elder on 8/26/10

I disagree brother, and I will tell you why.

We choose to remember things. Like what did you have for lunch last Tuesday? The trivial, the mundane, the ordinary we choose not to remember because otherwise our minds would be filled with junk.

But a sin that is committed against us? Why, there are hurts, anger, and emotions associated with that. Reasons to remember.

However, if you release the emotions associated with the offense against you, and pray to God for help in forgetting, you can choose not to remember.

I believe this is what God wants us to do. CHOOSE not to remember. I believe this honors Christ and God helps us to forget.
---Mark_Eaton on 8/27/10

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In reference to the re-posting of my post on 8/15/06 (see Correct-a-moon-doe on 8/24/10), we humans do not have the ability to turn memory off and on.
How does someone forget? As a matter of fact we need to remember. We need to remember that we have forgave the erring party for their action.
The whole problem is that most people don't know what forgiving is. It is just agreeing with God to not use the offence against the offender.
Mark_Eaton can't forget things just because he wants to. Only God can do that.
Next time you see a full moon think about a fat man sitting at a PC with only one hair setting straight up on his bald head. Now forget that next full moon.
---Elder on 8/26/10

Read this one
---Correct-a-moon-doe on 8/24/10

Are you kidding me?

The premise of this question tells me that you do NOT want to forgive the person. Why else remember the offense?

But you say that I cannot forget it. Yes, I would agree there are offenses that one cannot forget. But is that what you are asking about? Life-changing events like Rape, Incest, or Robbery? These will be difficult to forgive for most believers and impossible to forget.

But I don't think you had these in mind when you asked the question. I think you want it to be OK with God when you can forget the offense but do not want to forget it.
---Mark_Eaton on 8/25/10

Read this one
//Stacy you are human and do not have the ability to just forget everything when you desire to.
Forgiveness is about remembering.
We are to remember to NOT use the persons sin against them because we HAVE forgiven them.
Don't be fooled by those who tell you that you should forget as you don't possess that capacity. Satan will use that to discourage you.
God does and elects to forget for He has that ability.
God Bless keep on forgiving and remembering that you did.//
---Elder on 8/15/06
---Correct-a-moon-doe on 8/24/10

I don't think it is wrong to forgive and not forget. I think it is difficult for us to forget the perceived injury.It is also difficult for some persons to forgive, when someone has hurt or wronged us. We don't want to go through the same thing. We usually keep it in our memory, hopefully,so as not to repeat what happened, in the future. Forgiveness is a process but something we must learn to do, if we want Our Father, to forgive us, our many sins. Forgetting is another process that does not happen overnight.
---Robyn on 8/23/10

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We are to forgive, but it does not mean in our minds we can just forget. We should forget as far as not bringing it up again to the person that has hurt you. If you are married and your husband hurts you in someway, and you forgive him, if you really forgave him, it is your duty to never bring it up again. It doesn't mean you forgot about it, but you will not let that sin against you continue to divide both of you. If you bring it up again, it only means you never forgave in the first place.
Mary, I do not believe anyone expects you to forget such a terrible thing. If you forgive, it can only help you continue with life. Forgiveness is good for our soul. I do not think anyone expects you to forget. Not even God. He knows everyones heart.
---MarkV. on 7/22/10

I can't forget the brother that was taken from my family 29 years ago. I still feel cheated out of the last 29 years with him, but I'm asking God to help me forgive his murderer. I know this will not be easy.
---Mary on 7/22/10

Yes you must forget to really forgive. But no one can forgive without Jesus Christ's help.
---Dale on 7/22/10

Forgetting is not truly forgetting in the sense of the real word. God's way of forgetting means that when you see that person that has hurt you, you will choose (an act of the will) to treat that person as if they had never wronged you in the first place.
Forgive means letting go and releasing the debt they owe you.
Easier said than done, I know =)
But God's grace is available for the Christian and He has provided enough grace for the day... So may we choose to use it and forgive...
God Bless
---Julie on 7/21/10

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No. You can't give yourself amnesia!

If you don't often think of the offense.. you may assume you have forgiven.

But if when you do remember, (or you see the person who wronged you), the feelings of hurt and anger resurface within you, then you know you have NOT REALLY forgiven.
You need to ask the Lord, again, to help you forgive.

IF you can remember the offense, or face the offender at any time, without feeling the hurt or the anger...THEN you have forgiven!

These hurtful, difficult, situations are often those that teach us important things about ourselves and others. So hopefully, we won't just forget them altogether.
---Donna66 on 4/27/10

Now, that's a good question. Forgiving does seen easier than forgetting. In time you do forget. But, it does take time. A good question.
---catherine on 4/25/10

Stacey, while I think it is acceptable to remember, I will add a warning:

As long as we remember what was done to us, that is, what we forgave, there are two dangers:

(1) We may 'unforgive' when we get angry, either with the same person or even when we are in a generally difficult position

(2) We can even become proud of how forgiving we are (I think it's possible

But, if someone has broken a promise to you, you may, even after forgiving him, have some [reasonable] doubts about his/her next promise ( I think)
---peter3594 on 4/24/10

Christ - THE GOD "Forgives and Forgets". But we - the HUMANs can Forgive but Forgetting becomes so challenging when we have to Forgive someone who has done wrong to us and we fear that HE/SHE may repeat the same.
---Lovely on 4/12/10

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Phillipians 3
13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
---Beverly on 7/18/09

It is essential that we forgive those who persecute us if they are worthy and are truly sorry, but we must not forget. Why? Because forgetting enhances repetition and repetition is foolhardy. We need to learn from our mistakes so that we do not repeat them. If we allow those who hurt us to repeat their abusive behavior, then we are allowing them to mock our love and compassion. Do not throw pearls among the swine. We are divine. May Christ deliver us from evil. Amen.
---slyjoh on 3/29/07

I think WE should forgive and FORGET - when I say that, I think that we should CHOSE to forget, just as Christ FORGIVES and FORGETS our debts.
We are to be more like Christ in every way.
I have been hurt many many times over and have forgiven that person - somehow,in the forgiveness, I have forgotten what they have done.
I think the two go hand in hand.
---grace on 8/25/06

JohnT: Mom's name is Helen.

I had a good talk with Mom while away on vacation with her. I told her I did not like the way she kept bringing up my dad's bad behavior during their marriage, as she actually brings up things from almost 60 years ago. I told her he has been dead 30 years, let him rest in peace. I loved him as he was my dad and I hated having him trash talked all the time.
---Madison1101 on 8/19/06

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Madison, how I agree with the second paragraph of your posting below. I have actually been accused of not forgiving someone because I adjust my life to ensure that a certain person cannot hurt me in the way he has done many times. I simply avoid ever being alone in the same room with him because, with others present, he'll 'behave himself'. I feel that is wise whilst others sadly see it an shunning him.
---f.f. on 8/19/06

Wow, Madison!
We have so many similarities, as we discussed before, and being raised very close to each other, but now it seems as if we had the same mother
---John_T on 8/19/06

My mother never forgot a hurt done to her and she brings up things I did as a teenager and she acts as if it occurred yesterday instead of 35 years ago. Needless to say, she neither forgives nor forgets.

On the other hand, it is possible to remember a hurt, and not allow it to control how I relate to the person who harmed me, unless it was abuse. Then I use my wisdom to avoid being put in a vulnerable position again.
---Madison1101 on 8/18/06

The word forgive in and of itself implies forget. Although the offense may never be forgotten, it should never intentionally be brought to mind if indeed forgiven. I by no means minimize the pain or wrong of what is considered a major offense. I simply bring to mind the biblical definition of forgiveness - To set forth, put away, denoting separation or departure from, (by implication the offense taken). For the spiritual sake of the offended. The offender will reap that which was sown.
---josef on 8/18/06

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some are able to put the hurt they experience by others in the back of their mind and not be affected as much by the pain of it However others are unable to do that. Each case has to be veiwed in its own merits. I am known to be hurt badly by others yet I have accepted them back into my life and we are as close as we were before. Why because I make mistakes and God accepts me back when I mess up, so I try to show others to do the same do'nt often work but God is able through example.
---Carla5754 on 8/18/06

Donna: You have described the healing that God does in our lives very well. Thank you for that. He is so good in that He is the one who heals and sustains me.

---Madison1101 on 8/17/06

Lissa: I would like to see a scripture to support the idea that we must forget. Scripture clearly says we are to forgive. Forgetting is not required of us.
---Madison1101 on 8/17/06

God is so wonderful, He made us with love and care. and his promises never fail. He said forgive and love. if you forgive then forget so you may totally fogive the concern. if you forgive and doesn't forget she/he were released from that painful issue but you are still in the most painfull situation, the carrying of the burden and the grace of full enjoyment will never be yours.and God said if you want to praise me and glorify me go back to your enemy and forgive then come and have fiest with me.
---shira3584 on 8/17/06

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Well said, John T ! Yes, you and Madison could not be "wounded healers"...probably not HEALERS at all... if you forgot the wounds and how they got there.
But you have learned that with Jesus, you CAN get through the trauma. You CAN get to where the very memory of it doesn't re-open the wound. You recall the feelings, bear the scar, but the wound is healed. Gradually, you were able to lay the hurt aside. You are no longer driven by pain. I think maybe that's what forgiveness is.
---Donna2277 on 8/17/06

Lissa: We are not God
---John_T on 8/17/06

When God forgives, He forgets. We are supposed to do the same. I know it is hard to do though.
---Lissa on 8/17/06

JohnT: The most important thing to me through all of my trauma is that God saw me through my traumas and held me then and as I healed. He has been faithful and will continue to be faithful, then, now and always.
---Madison1101 on 8/16/06

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3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any affliction, through the comfort where we are comforted of God. 2Cor1:4

Madison& I consider ourselves "Wounded Healers" Henri Nouen's term; we each went through our hells, and we know what it is like in the middle of trauma, but more important, we know what it is like outside of trauma
---John_T on 8/16/06

It is pretty impossible to totally forget things, but God is faithful and makes the memories more bearable in HIS time. To forget would allow us to open ourselves up to future abuse, as John T pointed out. Should an abused wife forget her battering husband hurts her, she would return for more. No way.

God uses our hurts to help us minister love and grace to others who are abused and hurt and don't know HIM. How can we say God helped us through a trial if we forget it?
---Madison1101 on 8/16/06

John T. I can empathize with you also. I lost my daughter March 7, 2004 with cancer. Her sister had estranger her. When my sick daughter stayed with me, her sister would harldy say anything to her. My precious daughter died with a strong desire to make things right that wasn't even her fault.
---shira on 8/15/06

John_T , (2.)I see where you are coming from and by all means you know you were not wrong for staying away, and you suffered the results of staying away, sounds like my family. The bottom line is God knows us like no one else does, God is all powerful, only He can soothe our pains in this present world, in heaven people don't remember those bad things. --Mrs. Morgan
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/15/06

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John_T, my family too filled with all kinds of abuse It really takes total dependence on God to begin to heal form that kind of abuse ex. violence, rape,child molestation, etc. I feel like most times we should physically separate ourselfs from such people. Even if the abuser gets saved, some cannot deal with the memories. Once again only God can heal that kind of pain brother, it just too much. --Mrs. Morgan
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/15/06

To ERR is human, to forgive Divine.Having said that, we all at some stage in our lives have been offended,abused or taken advantage of. But as Our Lord said we forgive our trespassers,as we forgive those who trespass against us.Yes we do forgive but remember as humans, the hurt we faced.So to forget is a Divine facet which we do not have.
---Emcee on 8/15/06

destined to repeat, I thought that is what the human race specializes in repetition of mistakes? only today they do it quicker,bigger,and more often.To ANSWER YOUR QUESTION NO its not wrong its only human.we can forgive because God forgives, but being human we choose not to forget.But AS a christian our heart can be right with God and the person who wronged us thru jesus.
---tom2 on 8/15/06

IM NOT ARGUING, but I believe your comments were misguided. Forgiveness and forgettng are DIFFERENT.

We must forgive those who hurt us. but like John, I refused to return to home (even at the death of my father whom I loved greatly) in order to be abused further, or have my wife and children witness it -- again.

Yes, I also paid a "price" 20+ years sisters ignored me &family (They knew my daughter died, didn't send a card). That also has been forgiven. Return? NEVER!
---John_T on 8/15/06

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Stacy you are human and do not have the ability to just forget everything when you desire to.
Forgiveness is about remembering.
We are to remember to NOT use the persons sin against them because we HAVE forgiven them.
Don't be fooled by those who tell you that you should forget as you don't possess that capacity. Satan will use that to discourage you.
God does and elects to forget for He has that ability.
God Bless keep on forgiving and remembering that you did.
---Elder on 8/15/06

Why would one want to forget? That would mean that you have not learned anything from what happened. Offenses done to us can serve to teach us many things about others and ourselves. Aren't those who forget the past destined to repeat it?
---ralph7477 on 8/15/06

When you really forgive, you don't literally forget what happened. It becomes something that no long hurts you, it becomes like it happened to someone else. When you think on it , it doesn't stir up old bad feelings, there are actually no feelings at all. When you forgive it is as though it never happened to you. I also learned that you don't have to feel forgiveness to forgive. You just have to genuinely desire to forgive and then pray and God will place the forgiveness in you for whomever it is needed.
---Debbie on 8/15/06

I know a man that murdered a young woman. Do you believe that her parents, husband, siblings, child have forgotten?
---Glenda on 8/15/06

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john, I don't think the person meant forget like amnesia? This is a very sensitive topic because many people have been hurt really bad by others, only God can heal those kind of hurts.--Mrs. Morgan
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/15/06

(2.)...I have heard of some ministers that so called curse people in the name of the Lord, but that's nothing more than just plain old revenge, I keep away from those. Jesus said to love our enemies, even though they despiteful use and abuse us, now that's true love, not man's but God's love, and God makes His love available to His true children if we will yield to Him. As for our enemies, we don't have to like their ways, but we must love their souls, only God can help us to do that. --Mrs. Morgan
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/15/06

(1.)Is that "Really" forgiving if we are still hanging on to it, not" forgetting"? God will help with those "Hurts" if we truely lay them down on the alter. We really shouldn't let ourselves be bound in such a way as holding on and "not forgetting". People can do hurtful things , you forgive and move on. God said vengance is mine, I will recompense(Hebrews 10:30).
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/15/06

Alot of times satan will bring things that we have done in the past back to our minds. but that is when we have a choice into dwell on the past or rebuke him. Things has happened to me as a child, I chose to forget it, and I forgave that person. But Satan does bring that back to my mind to try and make me dwell on that, and I simply refuse to do so. I don't want to go back into that dark hole in my mind ever again. I am free of this pain.
---Rebecca_D on 8/15/06

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I have forgiven people, but do not forget their potential to cause harm to me if I put myself in a situation to be around them again. I can forgive and not be around a person.
---Annie on 8/15/06

Mike, my heart aches for the pain you endured as a child. My heart aches for children who can't help themselves. I, too have been hurt deeply and I had to forgive but I haven't forgotten. I just don't let it affect me the way it would maybe affect others. God does heal the hurt---eventually.
---shira on 8/15/06

No it is not wrong to forgive but not forget. I don't think that the scriptures say anywhere that we humans can forget, but God can. The best that we can do is forgive and when thoughts of the offence come back into our minds push them as far back as we can and pray that God will help us with this. The devil doesn't want us to forget either our own sins or the sins that others have committed against us because he is happier when we still feel bitter and guilty.
---emg on 8/15/06

john, are you speaking from experience?

YOU SAY: If we have forgiven we will not allow the problem have an effect on us anymore.

I SAY: I did forgive my rapist, but the problem did have an effect on me for MANY years, so your reasoning is unwise.

YOU SAY: In other words forget about it.
I SAY: Forgive and tell the Lord how hurt you are and how the rapist damaged you deeply and then ask the Lord to heal you. That's how you forgive and forget. NOT "just forget it."
---Donna9759 on 8/15/06

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Forgiveness is releasing the "debt the other owes you".

Forgetfulness is sometimes good, sometimes impossible.

In the case of the latter, it is a safety valve, preventing further hurts crom coming. If we are far enough from the abuser, forgetfulness MAY come.

We may for forgive a treasurer for embezzlement, but it is foolishness to let her be on the money counting team at the church after she is restored.
---John_T on 8/15/06

Part of the reason we forgive is that it brings a healing to the mind, specially for bad hurts. Not forgeting often means holding onto the hurt, and looking back at it.
I've said before I was abused from 8 till I was 15, both sexually and mentally. I forgave the main perpoetraitors, but did not loose the pain of the memories till I chose to forget it.
I am free from the pain and guilt.
---mike8384 on 8/15/06

I've learned that there are frequently layers to forgiveness, like an onion.

You think you've been able to forgive someone, then for no reason the pain returns.

Frequently all you can do is make another act of will to forgive.

Sometimes, all you can do at first is WANT to forgive, and take this as far as you can.
---Jack on 8/15/06

It is wrong to dwell upon a wrong done to us after forgiving. We must forgive and choose to let it go, trusting the Lord to take His vengeance out on the wrong-doer. The Lord is the only One Who can heal the hurt and sometimes cause the memory of it to fade away.
---Helen_5378 on 8/15/06

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I see no where in Scriptures where we are told to lose our memory of an incident. If we have forgiven we will not allow the problem have an effect on us anymore. And we should try not to keep remebering the details that bring on anger and unforgiveness. We won't retaliate because the debt was erased. In other words forget about it.
---john on 8/15/06

Stacey, Yes it's wrong. Does Jesus forgive us? Does HE forget? YES He does. He says, "As far as the east is from the west, that's how far I've removed your sins from you." To forgive means to forget. What would be the purpose to forgive if you don't forget? A root of bitterness will form if you hold a grudge or not forget about the injury. There is a deeper revelation to forgiveness and once you grasp it, you will be free completely from the offense.
---Donna9759 on 8/15/06

No it is not. Is that the way you would like for God to treat you? Read the parable of the ungrateful servant. Matt 18:21-35
---Bruce5656 on 8/15/06

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