And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
People like to say, “I can forgive, but I cannot forget.” Have you heard that before? Now, in the first place, nowhere in the Bible does God tell you to forgive and then to forget. It is not in the Bible! The devil is adding something here to make the whole thing burdensome.
God only tells us to forgive because God in Christ has forgiven us a debt we cannot pay. When we do this, we do ourselves a favor because harboring bitterness and unforgiveness can sometimes destroy our health!
So just forgive and let God take care of the rest. When you really forgive, sometimes, He makes you forget. But sometimes, you still remember the incident because it was a major thing in your life. Yet, when you look back at it, the pain is no more there. The sting is gone and you are not bitter.
Joseph had forgiven his brothers before they came and bowed before him. He remembered what they did to him, but he did not remember it with bitterness. (Genesis 50:15–21) So you may remember the incident, but the bitterness is gone because you have put the cross in the picture — “God in Christ forgave me. Daddy, I forgive you. Mama, I forgive you. My cousin, I forgive you.”
When you forgive, forgive by faith, not by your feelings. We walk by faith, not feelings. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Some people are waiting for feelings — “I am waiting, Father, for the right emotion to come on me to forgive that person.” That “right emotion” may never come!
No, forgive by faith, and do it once and for all. Spend time in prayer. Take out your diary and write it down: “Father, I bring this person before you. You know what he did to me. Father, as You forgave me through Jesus’ cross, even though I did not deserve it, by faith, I now forgive this person and I let my anger against him go in Jesus’ name. Amen!”
Once you forgive by faith, you will see the sting of bitterness removed from your heart. You will experience the peace and joy of God filling your mind, and see a greater measure of wholeness in your body!