It’s one thing to forgive; it’s another thing entirely to forget, but is it possible to forgive and forget?
To forgive people and forget their offences isn’t a simple task; it takes a significant effort. However, the good news is that it is possible, judging by my experience. You can forgive and forget if you follow the steps I will be revealing in this post.
But before discussing how to forgive and forget, let’s discuss the meaning of forgiveness, what it means to forgive and forget, what the Lord says about forgiveness, and some KJV bible verses on forgiveness.
What Is Forgiveness
Forgiveness is the act of overlooking someone’s punishable offences. It is the decision to stop being angry with someone who has harmed or wronged you in the past.
Forgiveness is about yielding to God’s command to love and live peaceably with our neighbors.
Meanwhile, the meaning of forgiveness in English dictionary is “forgiving someone who has done something wrong to harm or annoy you.”
What Does It Mean To Forgive
To forgive means to pardon an offender who deserves to be punished for his offence.
It also means to stop being hostile towards your offenders. It means to bury the hatchet and make peace with someone who offended you in the past.
What Does It Mean To Be Forgiven?
To be forgiven means you have been pardoned by someone you hurt or annoyed.
To be forgiven also means to be guiltless because the person you offended chose to overlook your crimes and inequities.
What does the Bible Say about Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is one of the crucial things Jesus talked about while on earth. He urges his disciples and all believers to forgive their offenders.
Let’s dive a bit deeper and see some forgiveness Bible verses.
- Ephesians 4:32
“… forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”
This is a popular bible verse among believers. Many Christian leaders and preachers often use it in their doctrines.
Here’s an excerpt from Apostle Paul’s message to the church of God, urging the church to put away all sins that could hinder them from making heaven.
He charges the church to be kind to one another through support, alms, and forgiveness.
- Matthew 6:14
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
The easiest way to summarize this scripture is that forgiving your neighbours attracts God’s forgiveness.
You can’t benefit from God’s forgiving attribute/nature if you don’t forgive your offenders.
- Luke 6:37
“… Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.”
Here’s another bible verse on forgiveness. It’s more like the first verse, which tells us, especially believers, to forgive others so God can pardon us.
Do not judge or fight them. Forgive and move on with your life.
Other places that discuss forgiveness in the Bible include 1 John 1:9; Psalm 86:5; Mark 11:25; Matthew 18:21-22.
Read them to discover more mysteries about how God wants you to react to people who annoy or offend you.
Importance Of Forgiveness
- Forgiveness promotes a peaceful Atmosphere
Forgiveness guarantees peaceful co-existence among neighbours as it eliminates all forms of negative thoughts towards one another.
It ensures you won’t feel sad or bitter whenever you see people who have offended you in the past.
Instead, you will welcome them with open arms, while they comfortably interact with you as though nothing happened in the past.
- It promotes joy and happiness
Forgiveness isn’t only beneficial to the offenders but to both parties.
Joy and happiness is attached to genuine forgiveness as your heart will stop skipping when you see your offenders.
You won’t have any bad feelings after forgiving them; hence, your joy will increase tremendously.
- Forgiveness is God’s desire
Considering the bible verses, you would agree that God places much emphasis and value on forgiveness.
He is so concerned about forgiveness that he won’t forgive people who see no reason to pardon others.
Therefore, forgiving others is non-negotiable. You must develop the act of forgiveness to fulfil one of God’s commands.
- Forgiveness is love
Love is forgiving; you can’t claim to love someone without overlooking their trespass or little errors.
There will be mistakes and errors at some point in life because no one is perfect.
Your love for people will influence your decision to forgive them as long as they are truly sorry for their actions; and are ready to change.
Talking of love and forgiveness, below are some forgiving is love quotes:
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
“True forgiveness is when you can say,‘Thank you for that experience,'” —Winfrey Oprah.
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love,” — Martin Luther King Jr.
- Forgiveness enhances your productivity
You might be wondering what’s the connection between productivity and forgiveness. Well, both have something in common.
Assuming your colleague at work offends you. Your countenance often changes whenever you see him, and you can’t concentrate.
Trust me, your productivity in the office will reduce drastically because you aren’t happy being around him.
You must forgive yourself and other people to be happy and lively.
- Forgiveness ensures good health
Forgiveness has numerous positive effects on your health. It is believed that forgiveness reduces stress, thereby lowering blood pressure and anxiety.
It also guarantees better sleep and high self-esteem. Similarly, forgiveness reduces anger, which could cause muscle tension and heart problems.
How Many Times Should I Forgive
Don’t know how many times you should forgive? Well, Jesus Christ commands us to forgive ‘seventy times seven’ occasions (Matthew 18:21-22)
If you should always forgive your offenders as it is impossible for someone to offend you that much.
What Sins Should I Forgive
All sins. I know it’s easier said than done, but you should forgive all your offenders regardless of their sins.
Learn to forgive your boyfriend for cheating on you even if you won’t continue the relationship.
Forgive your best friend for betraying your trust, while you do the same for your parents who maltreat you.
As I said earlier, forgiveness is tough but possible if you are willing and determined.
Five Effective Steps To Forgiveness
- Make up your mind to forgive
Forgiveness is an action. It is more than just saying “I forgive you” You can’t truly forgive someone except if it comes from your heart.
Hence, the first step to forgiveness is finding peace within yourself to forgive your offenders.
Consciously search your mind and see if you are ready to forgive people who have harmed you.
Ask yourself some questions like:
- Why should I forgive him?
- Does he deserve forgiveness?
- Does he deserve such resentment from me?
- What about me — am I happy with this situation?
Answering these questions with all sincerity will be the start of the forgiveness and reconciliation process.
- Invite or Visit Them
Invite the offenders for a heart-to-heart discussion after you decide to forgive and reconcile.
I know you are wondering why you should invite them despite annoying you. Well, that’s because you are more than willing to bury the hatchet and settle scores with them.
Inviting the sorry offenders will pass a reconciliation message across to them. Alternatively, pay them a surprise visit, especially if it’s been a long while you talked.
- Have a heart-to-heart discussion
Honouring your invitation means they are ready for reconciliation. Therefore, it is time to pour out your heart. Tell them you are disappointed with their attitude.
Reveal why you are angry with them; show them how much you value them; and what you still think of your relationship with them.
Listen to their side of the story. That’s why it is called heart-to-heart reconciliatory discussion.
- Forgive Them Verbally
After all has been said, it is time to pardon them. Tell them you’ve forgiven them.
Say it, show it and mean it. Hug them to show there are no longer issues between you two.
Meanwhile, let them know you are available to continue the relationship if possible.
Having forgiven your offenders, the next step involves forgetting the past and moving on with life. So, let’s see how to forgive and forget.
What Does It Mean To Forgive And Forget
I have heard many people say ‘I forgive but I don’t forget’ without knowing what it means to forgive and forget.
To forgive and forget means forgiving your offenders and not being affected by their wrongdoings in the future.
Does it sound a bit confusing? Okay, let me break it down.
To forgive and forget means to pardon your offenders without holding any resentment against them.
When you forgive and forget, you won’t end your relationship with them. You will relate with them as if nothing happened in the past.
Forgiving and forgetting means not allowing past mistakes to influence your future relationship.
It doesn’t mean you won’t remember the past, but you won’t dwell on it whenever it flashes to your mind.
How To Forgive And Forget In Four steps
It isn’t easy to forgive and forget, especially if the offence has deadly aftermath effects.
Hence, you need to pray to God to help you forgive and forget. Trust me, prayer works in this kind of situation.
Pray for yourself and your offender whenever the thought flashes through your mind. You will eventually get over it with time.
- Learn The Lesson
There is a saying that every disappointment is a person. The fact that your friends disappointed you might just be a lesson in disguise.
Reflect on what happened, and see it as a lesson not to rely on anyone else for happiness.
You can also see it as a lesson to build resilience and compassion.
This way, you won’t dwell on the incident for long or allow it to affect your future relationship.
- Consider the Benefits of Forgiveness
Another way to learn how to forgive and forget includes considering the benefits you would derive from the act.
As stated earlier, forgiveness goes beyond statements. It’s more like the start of a healing process.
Genuine forgiveness heals you from emotional pain and anger that could lead to health problems in the long run.
You won’t find it difficult to forgive and forget when you consider all its benefits.
- Invest In Self-love
Investing time and energy in self-love and care should come immediately after forgiving someone.
This will help you forget the pain and disappointment as soon as possible.
What is self-love? Self-love means paying attention to yourself. It means doing what makes you happy and fulfilled.
Read self-development books, catch fun with trusted friends, have a quiet self-discovery time, go shopping, take a deep breath, or purchase that thing you’ve always wanted.
What do you think of forgiving and forgetting? Do you now think it’s possible to forgive and forget?
Are you ready to forgive that friend who recently betrayed you, now that you know how to forgive and forget?
Share your thoughts and opinions with me!