My challenge to you today is to make an effort to forget!   Yes, forget all the bad that someone may have done to you.  Forget about the pain….the lies….the tears….the betrayal….and perhaps most importantly….Forget about the embarrassment. 

Now have I always lived with this philosophy?

Of course not!

But thankfully,  by being a little more forgetful of others’ faults against me, my road to true forgiveness has gotten much straighter.

If we are really honest with ourselves, we’ve all been hurt by someone and held a grudge.  As a Christian the expectation is that I immediately forgive whoever’s done the wrong. Yet, as I recall, my reality was never colored so perfectly.  In fact, I held grudges as if my life depended on it! (Didn’t I realize how bound I was?)

Apparently Not!!!  In fact, I used to boast things like.  “Revenge is my middle name” and “Oh, I don’t get mad, I get even!”

But of course ,when I gave my life to Christ that mindset slowly began to change. I actually felt bad for wanting to get even!  It could not have been any plainer in the bible:

  • Romans 12:17-21:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

    If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
     if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[b]

    21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

…AND THAT’S JUST ONE SCRIPTURE REFERENCE

Yet, even now, saved and full of the Holy Ghost, I must examine this reality:

A few scenarios come to mind:

  • Forgiveness is very easy for some people.

Those whose spiritual gift is MERCY, I imagine, have absolutely no problem getting hurt, dusting themselves off, and lending a hand to the one who pushed them down.

I mean those folks already have a supernatural advantage to “let it go.”  (If only it were that simple for us all)

  •  Forgiveness is non-negotiable for others who’ve lived by the WORD long enough to understand that the enemy uses those close to you to do the most damage, but only if you allow it.  These people have a much firmer grasp on the truly forgiving spirit that Christ wants us all to posses. 
  • Then there are those like me!  This journey hasn’t always been so easy.  In fact, I only recently realized that I hadn’t truly forgiven my ex-husband for all the drama I’d endured when we were married. 

I’m so much better now.  Thank God!  I did not get there overnight of course and I am still working on this process when it comes to fresh wounds.  I’m just sooooo beyond picking the scabs of old ones.

And how did I get there?

Well,  of course the grace of God, has played a major part, but I’ve also learned to forgive by forgetting!

Come on, we’ve all said it, “I’ll forgive ’em, but I won’t forget it!!!”

I have a question for you—-WHY NOT?

Yes, as crazy as saying, “Don’t tell me something to get my hopes up” sounds- —shout out to Pastor Kelly for the reminder—don’t we want to be lifted?

Likewise, wouldn’t it be easier just to forget that the one who did you wrong had ever had done the wrong.  Indeed, it would.

DISCLAIMER: THAT BY NO MEANS IS A LICENSE TO BECOME A DOOR MAT!!!!

My WAKE UP CALL

Well, back to my aha moment of FAUX-GIVE-NAHS , My ex and I had been divorced about 8 months ago following a 3 year separation and I had anyone asked me before that day whether I despised him, I would have quickly said something like, “I love him like Christ does, I just don’t love his ways.”   Perhaps what I really would have meant was “Sure I love him from a DISTANCE—meaning, don’t call me, talk to me, mention me, or come around EVER again!  

Now while I realize this is NOT the “Christian” thing to do, before, I’d lied to myself and everyone else who dared to ask my opinion on the matter.

I hadn’t heard from him in months and hadn’t missed his absence.  Actually, I rather appreciated the release.  Yet, the reason behind that was not as kosher as I would have liked.  I didn’t realize this of course until I got the CALL…Rather… should I say…the text ….It was a couple days after my birthday, ironically, on his when I saw it.

Apparently, my daughter wanted to wish HIM a happy birthday so she’d sent him a text from my phone–no biggie, right?

WRONG..rather it should not have been, but I’d had two phones prior.  I’d just changed this number and had not given it to him intentionally. So of course, I went a little beserk…I fussed at her for doing that because I DIDN’T WANT HIM TO HAVE MY NEW NUMBER!!!!

Of course after I realized how completely wrong I was to go there….I began to pray that portion of the “Model One”

Lord, forgive me as I forgive those who…what????? 

Yeah right….how could I say that or even THINK that in prayer…did I really want God to forgive me the way I’d “forgiven” him? Sure, I told my ex that I forgave him.  I told my kids that I forgave him.  I even told myself that I forgave him, but until that very moment, I hadn’t realized that I really hadn’t.

My daughter of course was the one who first brought light to my reaction…I believe her words were something like, “You’re supposed to be a Christian, what about forgiveness”

Yeah, people, I was schooled by a 10-year old.  She was right and I was wrong…so yes, I apologized to her for my actions…but it would take me about 4 more months before I could stomach the thought of admitting my error to him…yes…the him that I didn’t want calling me….

My Point? 

Despite how bad a person may have treated you, true forgiveness takes much more of us than time. We must humble ourselves and yes we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us as Jesus advised in Mathew 5:44.  Only a true relationship with Christ gives us the peace to forgive others, so these days I’m holding onto something blissfully different, my peace of mind.

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.