Forgiving is not Forgetting
Rev. Melanie Weiner
Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
Last Sunday we heard about the importance of forgiveness in Dr. Ron Watson’s sermon and in the Time With Children. We heard that carrying around hurt and bitterness weighs us down like a basket full of rocks or a heavy basket, and we were encouraged to set those burdens down by forgiving those who hurt us and by forgiving ourselves.
However in any one Sunday or any month of Sundays there isn’t enough time to say everything that is important to say about forgiveness. An important idea that we didn’t touch on is the difference between forgiving and forgetting. For small hurts, for the ways that we unintentionally annoy one another as family and friends, we can forget those. But if someone hurts you deeply or there is a pattern of harmful behavior, please don’t forget it. Abuse is never okay. Forgiving someone who has abused you is important for your mental health. Making the decision to release yourself from resentment or desire for vengeance is seeking freedom for yourself. But this does not mean you must be open to continued relationship with the person who has hurt you deeply or repeatedly. Free yourself of abusive people just as you free yourself of resentful feelings.
If you are in an abusive relationship and need help, here are some resources:
Women SV http://www.womensv.org/
Community Solutions https://www.communitysolutions.org/need-help/