Thursday, April 15, 2010

Forgive and forget

What does that mean anyway? To be honest, I think it is kind of a silly saying. I can't make myself forget anything. The very act of trying to forget something immediately cements it in my brain.

Still, I got a good lesson in "Forgive and forget" recently.

Someone whom I love dearly hurt my feelings. You know how that feels....kind of like the breath has been knocked out of you.

Crazy as it sounds, the scripture, "Forgive them for they know not what they do" came to mind immediately. It is true in this case. The person who hurt my feelings would NEVER intentionally hurt, she in essence did not know what she was doing.

I talk alot about things being "Heart issues", and this was one of those issues. I forgave her ...deep in my heart where it counts. I forgave her. Gone. Done. Over with. Forgiven. Okay, it did take a few minutes, but HONESTLY, it was less that 15 minutes before I let it go.

Here's the crazy thing....As SOON as I forgave her...and remember this is a heart issue, not just lip service. Deep down in my heart I forgave her....
  • I did not hurt heart has not hurt a single time since the moment I forgave her.
  • I feel absolutely no different toward her than I did before this incident. Absolutely no different. There is no doubt, no anger, no fear of being hurt, no mistrust. I truly FEEL as though it never happened.
  • Our relationship was restored (so in essence, I forgot has no bearing on our friendship and she is not in my debt and I do not have negative feelings toward her...that's pretty close to forgotten.)
Now, the way I see it, I had 2 choices. I could forgive her or I could Lord this over her. In my experience, holding a grudge and reliving hurt just hurts. Who wants that? It was bad enough that it hurt the first time....who wants to relive it and hurt over and over again? AND how can i profess to love this person if I INTENTIONALLY cause her pain because she UNINTENTIONALLY hurt me? There is a whole attitude of "I am gonna hurt them like they hurt me"  that i hear a lot of people in my life living by...that thought and belief is straight from the pit. I am not buying into it ever again.

Like I said, I had 2 choices. I forgave. I feel GOOD about that. I am not hurting, and our relationship is restored. I realized in a split second that I truly do love this chick like a sister and that I love her too much to do anything but forgive her completely and totally. I feel like she probably realizes that too and our friendship is stronger because of it.

I can't make this really make sense tonight. So sorry. I guess the bottom line is that I knew that I loved my friend and would rather keep my friendship than force my friend to feel guilty and be in debt to me for hurting my feelings. I think I realized just how much I value our friendship and how important my friends are to me in the moment it took for me to decide what to do in this situation.

I see too many marriages, families, and friendships blow all to pieces because of unforgiveness. Someone gets hurt and then feels completely justified in hurting the other person by holding the hurt over their head until....until when? So many times the answer is forever. What's the good in that? In my case, words hurt my feelings. There is absolutely no way on earth that my sweet friend could take those words back even if she wanted to. Isn't that usually the case? In thinking back over the people I have held a grudge against....not one of them could CHANGE or TAKE BACK the incident that hurt me. So how long do I wait to forgive if there is no way for the people who hurt me to make the hurt go away. Sadly, the answer is "forever".....unless I CHOOSE to FORGIVE and FORGET! 

There is something to that....but my mind is moving on to something else right now....may have to revisit later....

Father God,
Thank you thank you thank you for this wonderful lesson! Thank you for the opportunity to show my friend how much I value her friendship and how much I value her as a person and as Your child. Help me Lord to always be QUICK to forgive and help me to value the people in my life more than i value being "right" or being "justified" or (sigh) getting revenge. Lord, help me apply this in all my relationships, especially the relationships with those closest to me...Calvin, the kids, my friends and family. Help me to remember that it isn't good for me to hurt someone because they hurt me. Help me to remember that this is not your way of doing things. Help me to take the opportunity to show the people you have put in my life unconditional love by showing them true, heartfelt forgiveness.

hugs all around!
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