“Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9 NLT
Christians are to be a forgiving people just as we were forgiven, yet at times it is very difficult for us to forgive certain individuals or events that have taken place. There is normally pain involved with a transgression done to us and it gives birth to a myriad of emotions that can make forgiveness seem out of reach. Solomon, referred to in Proverbs as ‘the Teacher’, gives us this wise nugget of truth. Love is the winner when a person’s fault or error in judgment is forgiven. It is when we won’t let it go that a breach in friendship takes place. It’s unfortunate when a friendship can be severed due to a misunderstanding, but it always isn’t a misunderstanding. It can be pretty big indiscretion that leaves feelings crushed and trust obliterated. God forgave any and every act of disobedience we had ever committed, so forgive even when it hurts to do so. God watched His own Son die on a cross reserved for criminals; bloodied, beaten and barely recognizable. Forgive. The best of friends can forgive and move on. Those that refuse to perhaps were not as good a friend as you had once thought.
1 Corinthians 13:5 says in part that love “keeps no record of being wronged”. I understand very clearly how difficult this can be. We utter the words “I forgive you” yet carry with us the memory of the event. Sometimes that which has been done or said to us, while forgiven, haunts our memory for years. Some events replay in our minds our entire life. We ask the Lord to take it from us but it just doesn’t seem to ever dissipate. It’s memory fades with time, this I know from personal experience, but a scar is left in place of the memory.
I’m not aware of any scripture that tells us to forgive and forget. There are many benefits to having a memory, one being that it can help us keep from having the same event happen to us a second time. We forgive but are wary of certain individuals and/or situations going forward. It’s called self-preservation; the whole “wise as serpents, gentle as doves”1 thing. In the end, love conquers all, so lovingly forgive those hurtful things that come your way from either friend or foe and allow the Holy Spirit to mend your heart as you continue to strive to be more like Christ in your daily life. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!1 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16