“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. Blame cannot drive out blame; only forgiveness can do that. To forgive someone means not just to say you are sorry. It means you will not keep what that person did to you in your heart. WOW! That may be tough to do and too much to expect.
Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, asked Jesus…. ‘How many times should I forgive someone? Are seven times good enough, Jesus?’ Jesus responded and said, ‘Not seven times but seventy times seven times!’ That is 490 times! The point Jesus was making is we need to forgive BIG and never stop forgiving! Nobody said forgiveness was easy, but it is crucial in God’s eyes.
A favorite saying by some Christians is…”Well, I can forgive what that person did because I have too, but I will never forget!” I have heard people say that they can forgive, but they just can’t forget because it is too hard. Others say that you only have to forgive someone, and it is impossible to forget what happened. Think about if someone hurt you or a family member physically, emotionally, or mentally? How are you going to forgive, let alone forget what happened? God only accepts forgiveness and forgetting. In return, He blesses you with the peace your soul needs. That kind of peace only comes from God.
Let’s look at this closer. When Jesus went to the cross, God was able to forgive us of our sins and remembers no more. The Bible tells us not only do we need to forgive, but we do indeed need to forget. Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
You have to forgive and forget, just like God does every day. When you think about it, there is no way you can forgive someone if you can’t forget what they did. Your brain, heart, and soul mentally, physically, and emotionally can’t do that. It becomes a vicious circle inside you that steals your health and happiness. True forgiveness requires you to forget. It is God’s request.
So how do you forgive and forget? I will tell you my secrets behind forgiving and forgetting. I HOPE IT HELPS SOMEONE OUT THERE! Forgiving someone comes from your heart, and forgetting about it comes totally from God. This whole business of forgiving and forgetting is a supernatural event. We absolutely cannot do this on our own.
God does not require that you go back to old ways or be around that person ever again that hurt you. You do not have to be a victim for the rest of your life to that person! There is no need to hit the delete button because you ARE going to remember. However, by forgiving and forgetting it halts what that person did from hurting you internally anymore. Set yourself free and allow yourself to live happily again without that person stealing that from you again and again.
Here are some steps that I follow to help me genuinely forgive:
-First, you have to realize you need God’s help.
-God, our Father, has it all figured out. Jesus paid the price for ALL of us..
-God expects us to listen and copy his footsteps to the right living.
-You need to take charge and forgive yourself.
-When you forgive yourself, peace sets in.
– If you have no peace, life will pass you by.
-Focus on the good things about yourself and your life.
-Pity the person that hurt you.
-Stop worrying about the person that hurt you.
-Stop thinking about them 24/7
-Start living your life to the fullest.
You cannot allow someone to steal your happiness because then they win…again and again, over and over. Only this time, it is your fault because you refuse to let it go. Tell it to God. Pray and have God take the turmoil that someone caused you and replace it with peace, happiness, and wisdom. Most importantly, ask God for healing, knowledge, and strength to free yourself from the wickedness of the person or persons that hurt you.
Trust God is looking after you by cleansing your soul from the wicked deeds that others inflict on you. The only way you can achieve true forgiveness is with the help from God. We are much more capable of God’s help to forgive and forget because we have the light of the Holy Spirit in us, helping us achieve supernatural expectations.
A question I get asked is if forgiving someone makes you a weak person? Oh my Gosh! NO! Remember this…God forgives millions of His children every single day, and He is not weak! With his help, you can receive those supernatural powers to forgive and forget too. Just ask God, and you will receive it. One of my favorite quotes comes from Mahatma Gandhi, who said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
If you think that you still can’t forgive someone because of what they did to you, think again. There is another reason to forgive, and it starts with your health… physically, mentally, and emotionally. According to the Mayo Clinic, forgiveness helps improve heart health by lowering your blood pressure. Forgiveness reduces the symptoms of depression and strengthens your mental health, and forgiveness also helps strengthen your immune system and fight against certain diseases like cancer.
If it still feels impossible, realize that forgiving and forgetting is a process and does not happen overnight. Ask for help from a spiritual leader or counselor, mental health expert, or even a close friend. Try meditation or yoga, get a journal, and start writing your feelings down. Reading the Bible daily helps too. The thing everyone needs to know is you need to heal. Ask God for the strength to forgive and forget. In return, God promises he will take away the hurt and BLESS you with peace, wisdom, and happiness. Remember, the suffering that has been inflicted on you is not your fault. Forgiveness is the only way to set yourself free and start living again. You are following God’s request by forgiving and forgetting.
Let God be God. He will give you peace and happiness. Do not expect true forgiveness to happen overnight. It may take a while because it is a journey. Be patient and trust yourself that you can do it. Keep your spirit strong and start the journey of forgiving someone that you have not been able to forgive. If you have had a hard time with this, I hope that you can be set free by saying I forgive you. If you cannot directly tell that person for one reason or another…. TELL GOD! God is right beside you, comforting you and providing you with the necessary peace to be happy.
Tamara David, Founder