Tonight, the phrase "Forgive and Forget" has looped through my mind. What does it really mean? Is it possible to literally forgive and forget? Many people forgive another for their transgressions, but they don't forget. One keeps that wrong in the back of their mind, only to bring it up when they most need to "get back" at the other party. So if we don't forget? Why not "Forgive and move on." "Forgive and stab-you-in-the-back-later." "Forgive and hold a secret grudge."
I can't help but wonder what Jesus would do, I don't mean to get all churchy, but I feel Jesus is pretty experienced in the forgiveness category. He died, only so every single one of us could be forgiven.
In the Lord's Prayer, we say, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." This says nothing about forgetting, yet God forgives us of our trespasses and forgets about them when we enter the gates of heaven. So I guess my question is answered pretty quickly today. We forgive and forget because we do as our Father does. He forgives and forgets our sins.
But now I move onto another topic of forgiveness. Do we forgive those who "trespassed" against us without them asking for forgiveness? If they don't ask for forgiveness, they obviously aren't sorry. I suppose forgiving them without them asking to do so is sort of out of the goodness of your heart, but I feel that may end in a bad story. Since it is assuming they are sorry, and "assuming makes an ass out of you and me." If they aren't really sorry, well friend, I think you need a new friend (and here I am assuming this person who you are forgiving is a friend).
So my lesson learned tonight: When someone asks for forgiveness, I shall forgive and forget! I really need to work on the forget part of this, but I believe it is a process. As you move on, and grow your relationship with said person, you begin to forget this transgression and fill this memory with happy moments with them. (If things are otherwise, I can only hope you find a new friend)
Here's to dementia! (er.. forgiving and forgetting)