Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When forgiving means "forgetting"

Have you ever struggled with forgetting? Recently the art of forgiving and forgetting has played a very real role in our lives. A family member recently reunited with an ex and announced to the family they were "dating".
The emotions I have been experiencing have been both positive and negative. On one hand, I believe God's true desire is that married couples remain as "one" so I begin to feel that maybe this is God's way of restoring what was broken. On the other side, I can't forget the deep wounds that were brought about during the divorce and I worry whether the ex can be trusted. Strangely, enough, I don't feel angry or malicious towards her. Anyone who has heard the story knows that our family would have every "right" to not accept her. But somewhere in the pain, God brought about a healing and a forgiveness. We have all forgiven the offenses. We just can't seem to forget. I think our biggest fear is that she will hurt our family member again.

In the Bible, Peter asks Jesus the hard questions about forgiveness.

"At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, "Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?"

Jesus replied, "Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

The Message version

As hard as it is for us to forget, I am learning that our goal should be to forgive by building a relationship once again. Even though it feels like we are blindly holding our hand out, I think it is an important step for us to take. I know we will all feel cautious in the beginning, but perhaps God WILL do something beautiful in the midst of the confusion. We can never know until we follow His example and love without condition.


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