Scripture Reading: Psalm 30
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning. –Psalm 30
Does true forgiveness exist if not accompanied by forgetting? There is a difference between forgetting and learning. When we make mistakes, it is important that we learn from them. That we turn around, repent is the Biblical word for it, from the behavior that led to the mistake in the first place. At some point we most likely will forget the instance that occurred which led to our learning, perhaps not.
But what about when we are the ones doing the forgiving? God sets the example by seeming to suffer from both long term and short term memory loss of the behaviors or actions or even thoughts for which we have asked for forgiveness. God quickly lets anger go. It is not allowed to seethe and fester and grow until we are reacting in ways that require forgiveness for ourselves. This is not related to our mental memory. It is related to our soul memory. We must erase it from our very being, if we are to be freed from its chains.
I love to sing, love music. When I was in the seventh grade, the girls in my class were to sing at the eighth grade graduation. When we were rehearsing, my teacher said to me “Your voice doesn’t fit well with the others. You just mouth the words and don’t sing.” I followed her instructions for that performance, but I also never sang again in public, even in a choir, for almost ten years. That is a great example of not letting go when we have been wronged. I needed to have forgiven her even when she probably never realized she had inflicted harm on me. If there is anything you are carrying around with you from the past that is inhibiting your ability to be the person God created you to be, let it go.
Prayer: Lord, always help me learn from both my mistakes and other encounters but enable me to forgive anyone who has hurt me even if they never know I have forgiven them. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.