Saturday, October 16, 2010

the problem with "forgive and forget"

I had a whole thing written out that I wanted to post about an awkward and somewhat unnerving event that happened to me tonight, but I'm going to refrain for now.

But I do have one thing to talk about tonight. We've all heard that saying "forgive and forget". Yes, we are all called to forgive, forgive and forgive. And then after you forgive, forgive once again.

But forget? I'm not so sure. For me, I always forgive. It may take me a long time...years, even, but eventually I forgive. Forget is what I struggle with, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I think a better phrase is "forgive and proceed with caution".

Forgetting implies that you entirely wipe out any memory of someone doing you wrong. Forgetting implies that regardless of what a person has done, you should treat them with the regard that that event never happened. No. Don't forget. Remember what has happened in the past, but don't dwell on it. Don't hold that wrongdoing over the person's head. Don't distrust them, but be wary/cautious until you feel you can trust that person once again.

The Lord calls us to be loving to our neighbors. But He doesn't call us to be stupid. A dog will go back to his owner again and again after being chastised. But we were made higher than animals for a reason. After being wronged, we are called to forgive, not to throw ourselves back into the same situation as we were in before.

Perhaps this does call for a tiny bit of forgetting, but remembering what we did last time that got us into this situation and change that. I'm not saying that we shouldn't trust people, but that we need to remember that not everyone is pure-hearted and until you know the intentions of someones heart, you need to be cautious.

Now I just need to read the above over and over until I learn to practice what I preach :]

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