8th December 2016

Forgive And Forget

“Does the Bible instruct us to forgive and forget?”The phrase “forgive and forget” is not found in the Bible. However, there are numerous scriptures commanding us to "forgive one another"

Matthew 6:14

"If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.

Ephesians 4:32

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

A Christian who does not forgive can reap bitterness and the loss of eternal rewards

Hebrews 12:14-15Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

2 John 1:8Watch out that you do not lose what we[a] have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward.

Forgiveness is a decision of the will. Since God commands us to forgive, we must make a conscious choice to forgive. This frees the forgiving one from the past. The offender may not desire forgiveness and may not change

Matthew 5:44But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

(Compare Luke 6:27-28)

Ideally, the offender will seek reconciliation, but if not, the one wronged should still make known his decision to forgive.In one sense, it is impossible to truly forget sins that have been committed against us. We cannot selectively “delete” events from our memory. The Bible states that God does not “remember” our wickedness

Hebrews 8:12

And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins."

God is all-knowing. God knows that we have "sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Romans 3:23For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard.

However, having forgiven us, He treats us as if the sin had not occurred. If we belong to Him through faith in Christ, God does not hold our sins against us. In that sense we must “forgive and forget.” If we forgive someone, we must act as if that sin had never occurred. We remember the sin, but we live as if we did not remember it.

Ephesians 4:32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

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