Tuesday, May 12, 2015
I suppose most of you have already figured out by now that I do not ascribe to the “forgive and forget” theory because I have written in the past about it. Although it is just another cliché in my opinion, most people sincerely believe that one doesn’t really forgive until he forgets the offence committed against him. I, of course, do not. One reason is because of the biblical account of Joseph and his brothers. They thought he would not forgive and forget what they did to him. They were fifty percent correct. After their father’s death they approached him claiming, probably falsely, that he had left these instructions to them: “This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly. Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” (Genesis 50:17) Joseph had already given them ample proof that he had forgiven them and even if he had forgotten the matter, they were the ones that brought it up again. Nevertheless, I choose to believe that offences of this type cannot easily be forgotten and I bet Joseph mused that sad experience many times throughout his lifetime. I’m sure he even shed a few tears just to think that his own brothers one day thought so little of him that they would actually sell him as a slave. I also believe one can forgive even when he doesn’t forget the offence because I have experienced it several times in my own life. I realize, as well as understand, why many may find that hard to believe, but believe me that my fear of lying to God in this matter is much greater than my fear of lying to you.
Even so, we must never think that the emotional wounds we inflict when we offend others will just simply fade away with no scars left behind, especially when the one offended has seemingly dropped the issue and has forgiven us. This brings us to another obvious fault and bad habit, namely the brushing aside of the matter and not having the courage and decency to ask forgiveness from the one we knowingly have wounded. We all know people in our lives who will never admit a wrong and will never be heard asking anybody’s forgiveness, sometimes even daring to claim they never offend anyone. To convince you that such a claim is absurd, 1 John 1:10 says: “If we say we have not sinned, we make Him (God) a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
Probably none of you who read this blog fall into this category, but if you do, shame on you. No genuine child of God can ever go through life without ever needing to ask forgiveness from others; it just happens. Lets not permit this be one of our faults. Next time God’s Spirit tells us we have offended someone, let’s ask Him for the courage, grace, and strength to say “Please forgive me!” It will bring healing both to us and them.
Memory verses for the week: (Psalm 24:3-4) “Who may ascend the Lord’s Holy Hill? Who may stand in His Holy Place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.”