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Do We Need to Forgive and Forget?

Updated on April 20, 2012

Do I Need to Forgive and Should I Forget?

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Forgiving vs Forgetting- Do We Really Need to do both?

A hot topic/question on HubPages recently is about forgiving/ forgetting. I’m going to answer the question, “ What is the point of forgiveness if your never able to forget?” the best way I know how- by example and some more questions to ponder.

I am an honest person who can honestly say that I have a hard time forgiving, and most importantly forgetting. Being a Christian can make it easier, but, Christians still struggle with forgiveness as well. There are a lot of horrible acts of random violence in this world. If someone hurts/ kills a loved one, for no reason at all, can you easily forgive….or even forget? You’ll never forget that loved one and it’s almost a slap in the face to tell someone who’s lost a loved one to “forget about it and move on with your life.” Everyone goes through different stages of grief, and it can be hard to not judge someone else for not forgiving/ forgetting the wrong that has been done to them and in a certain amount of time.

Ultimately, who is doing the forgiving?

Jesus died on the cross for our sins, so that whoever believes in him should not parish, but have eternal life: John 3:16. God takes the guess work out of it. If He can forgive, then why can’t we? Should we have to forgive if He already has? I was once in a relationship where the young man wanted me to repent all of my sins to him for forgiveness. My immediate response was “Are you God?” “What does it matter to you?” “If I have a relationship with the Lord, and I have repented my sins, why do I have to ask you for forgiveness?” I’m sure all he wanted was to have an open, honest relationship without any skeletons in the closet, but I was a little taken back by his desire to “forgive” me for all my wrongs that occurred during times when I did not even know him.

How many times do we forgive the same person for doing the same thing?

Since forgiveness is a conscious choice, I’m not going to decide that for everyone. You do need to consider if the person asks for forgiveness and if they are willing to change. An apology and a promise to change lacks integrity when the same sin is committed time and again. I honestly don’t believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we can all go around killing, asking for forgiveness, and then killing again. That’s not the message that God sends. We all make mistakes; some small in comparison to others, but one thing is true. Whether we believe in a higher power or not, we, as a society need to live the most productive, fulfilling life as possible. We shouldn’t expect that we can do whatever we want, hurt innocent people with no consequences, and expect that people will forgive and forget time and again. We all need to be as contributing to society as possible, acknowledge our mistakes, learn from them, and prevent them from happening again.

Forgiveness is a conscience effort to make sense of what has happened to you. You may blame God, you may even want to forgive Him for “letting this happen.” I believe it is sometimes easier to forgive the person, but you can’t forget the horrible act that was committed. Forgiveness can be beneficial to one’s health; no one wants to be bitter and resentful. The main point of forgiveness is not for you to forget about what happened, but for you to know that forgiveness (or the lack thereof) is not going to change the events that happened- it won’t bring back your loved one. Forgiveness will bring you a certain peace into your life that you won’t feel if you can’t forgive…..but don’t worry, you don’t need to ever forget.

Do You Forgive and Forget?

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    • FreezeFrame34 profile image
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      FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

      Thanks for reading and commenting, coffeegginmyrice! I'm glad your shared!

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I can forgive because it is God's way, but I am not sure to forget easily after forgiving. But there are situations that I can forget, except if it gets repeated, for example the times my daughters hurt my feelings. These are my children and I love them dearly, I should forget the hurt they had caused me or any in the future.

      And about a person I love, the situation to forgetting a one time forgiveness takes a different turn. There is this opposite situation when I was told- "I cannot forgive you for this." I have destroyed an ex-girlfriend's "junks" which my partner had taken to our new home we are sharing together to both start anew. We have made a promise to each other to start a new beginning in a new home we share, to change for the better leaving behind our past experiences with our ex-partners. There was nothing in the bin that was at all valuable except for a childhood plaque which she herself had disposed and wouldn't want again. I say this because this was his confession. But he thinks that she will look for it again one day. "One day," I exclaimed. "That means you are wishing to see her again!" The truth is, he had lied to me that he had already sent her stuff back to her before we moved, but I found them in the basement after a year. Imagine, after a year! Her things had been stored in my own home. I was very very hurt at that point and destroyed, tearing everything into pieces even if they were already garbage of old invoices, bills, vhs movies, and expired toiletries, except for that childhood softball plaque with which I also made sure I damaged it.

      When he had tried to call her before about her stuff and offered to drop them off, I had no questions about it because he had told me the same thing. But she had refused her own things because she said that she has no more need for them and she wouldn't care if he disposes them even with that childhood award. His reasoning to me was that those were the "only" stuff to remind him of her. And I know that's bull! I don't care about her photos or letter or gifts because those are his and of the past, and I do have too memories kept of my past loves. Those are to be respected vice-versa. The situation of showing me that he cared too much of her "garbage" than me getting hurt, took a big blow, the very first huge fight ever inside the 3 years time in our relationship without any fights nor arguments. This fight had greatly disgusted, hurt and insulted me because he had brought her memories into our new home, tried to hid it and defended it. And this is when he said to me, "I can never forgive you for this."

      [I am a person with sunny disposition and I am good-at-heart, never putting a grudge on anyone, no matter how hurt I am; sometimes, it just takes time to adjust and accept. I had even tried to be a friend to her when I met her on the side street. I extended my hand and we shook hands, but she was shocked to know who I was.]

      My love and I did patch up the same night, kissed and exchanged "I'm sorry" to each other. But I still think til now upon coming across your hub that he must still have not forgiven me. Never mind about if he will not forget what happened, because I have forgiven him and I cannot forget about it neither.

      Thank you for this hub, FreezeFrame34, it opened up views for me. Sorry for the long story, I am not embarrassed to open up about not able to forget. Thank God, I can forgive. Maybe I can work more about forgetting too equally, but it still looks like a harder task to do. You do agree with me, don't you? *smile* Voted useful, beautiful and interesting.

      Forgive our enemies.

    • Msvirgo profile image

      Tabia 5 years ago from Kent,WA

      your welcome.

    • Msvirgo profile image

      Tabia 5 years ago from Kent,WA

      your welcome.

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image
      Author

      FreezeFrame34 5 years ago from Charleston SC

      Thanks, Msvirgo!

    • Msvirgo profile image

      Tabia 5 years ago from Kent,WA

      I agree ,you should forgive,sometimes it takes time,but don't need to forget(so it won't happen again).

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image
      Author

      FreezeFrame34 5 years ago from Charleston SC

      Feel free to leave a comment. Although I may forgive what you say....I will not forget!:) Thanks for reading!