I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness recently, partially because Pastor Mac Hammond has talked about it in his recent messages (great messages, too!) and partially because I've recognized some areas where I need to forgive.
One of the things forgiveness means that I think we often ignore or don't realize is that when you forgive, you should forget. Pastor Mac often follows that statement with statements like this: "When I say 'forget,' I don't mean that you get Holy Ghost amnesia. When you forget, it actually means that you 'put out of mind.'"
So I've contemplated that and realized that when I am offended or hurt by someone else, my tendency is to overthink why I've been hurt. I'll say, "I forgive them" and really do mean it. But then I think about it a lot. And I always have a good reason to try to decipher what I'm going through and why I feel the way I feel and it will always make sense why I need to replay in my head everything that I need to forgive that person for. The Lord doesn't want me to keep replaying their mistakes. He wants me to forgive them, and then move on.
What we really need to do when we forgive someone is forget it. Put it out of mind... over and over and over. Day in, day out.
To clarify, I'm not talking about an abusive situation where someone is taking advantage of you physically or emotionally. I'm talking about those instances that happen altogether too often among church members, family, and friends where you get offended because they don't celebrate Labor Day like you do or they looked at you the wrong way or they did something else that frustrated you. Those types of things are things that we should leave behind us.
Lord, I've messed up time and again by reasoning my way into not forgetting the things people have done for me. Please help me truly forgive and walk away from whatever frustrations come from other people in my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.