I am also frequently asked, “Is forgiving forgetting?” Forgiveness is not always forgetting. I still remember some things from past, even though forgiveness has taken place. We have been taught that in order for you to truly forgive someone, you must force yourself not to remember what the person did to you. Forgiveness is not in the forgetting; it is in being free with a spirit of liberty. The grace of God gives us strength to forgive, but this can only be done through Jesus, who forgave us (Luke 23:34, Colossians 1:14).
It is an act of releasing another from an offense—refusing to enact the penalty due to him or her. Forgiving is refusing to let the offense affect the relationship. You move forward as though it never happened. Such forgiveness releases one from a sense of unresolved guilt, restores a clear conscience, and restores a relationship.
To forgive is to grant favor—to show kindness unconditionally. The Greek translation is charis; the root word is grace. Forgiveness is a choice to which you commit; you no longer hold the offense against the person. Though my offender has passed away, forgiveness allows me to remember him and his offenses free from anger or grief and with compassion. I now think of a man who was used by the enemy in a most noxious way, who needed deliverance from spiritual wickedness in a high place.
You Have to Go to the Next Level
If there is no forgiveness, we cannot go to the next level, and God cannot forgive us of our sins. God cannot go against his own Word. Matthew 6:16 says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive your trespasses, But if you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will you Father forgive your trespasses” (NIV).
This is another reason why we forgive; it is one of the most important. Imagine God not forgiving you of your sins and transgressions. Imagine if there was no grace to cover you. We could never make it to heaven. The carnal man would desire us to retaliate against our offenders and take matters in our own hands.
God avenges us against our enemies; He takes it personally. Our enemies are His enemies. He reminds them to call on the gods who have led them into the path of darkness. Here, God makes make it clear to Israel that there was no other God except Himself. He also tells them to rejoice in the trespasses; God will avenge the blood of His people—you and me. When we are hurt, God is hurt.
- (Deuteronomy 32:10
- Deuteronomy 32:35-43 (KJV)
- Psalm 17:8; 51:11
- Luke 23:34