If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped.
-Psalm 130:3-4 (The Message)
Have you ever forgiven someone, but then had a hard time forgetting the pain?
I was reminded lately (by a Joyce Meyer devotional) that there are two hurtful situations that I’m having trouble forgetting. One particular situation will never be repeated, and so that person won’t have the chance to hurt me in the same way. I’m pretty far down the path toward forgiving and forgetting. The other person, though, could and quite possibly will hurt me again in exactly that way.
How do we guard our hearts without hurting our relationships?
When we’re physically hurt, we remember what happened—hopefully so we can avoid that mistake in the future!—but we’re quick to forget the actual pain. When we’re hurt emotionally, we should strive to do the same.
We can remember what happened so we don’t open ourselves up to the same poor treatment, but we shouldn’t hold onto the past pain. It does no good to keep tally marks of hurt. Just as God has removed our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west, we should strive to keep our memories of forgiven injuries far from our current relationships.
Are you keeping the wrongdoings of others “on record,” intentionally or even unintentionally?
We can let go of that spiritual clutter without opening ourselves up to more hurt.
Take the Challenge: Try one or more of these things…
- As it says in Psalm 130, make forgiveness your habit. Determine to lift that hurt to the Lord whenever it comes to mind.
- Recognize that you’re not perfect either. Psalm 130 also reminds us that we wouldn’t stand a chance if God kept the score. When you’re tempted to dwell on the pain of a past injury, remember that you may have hurt that person as well.
- Focus on the blessings. If the people who hurt you are close enough to injure you deeply, then they’re probably close enough to have blessed you amazingly as well. Make a list of ways they’ve shown you love, and choose to dwell on those instead.
As for me, I surrender to the Lord how she hurt me. I know that I’ve hurt her feelings as well, and I may not even have properly apologized for it. She has blessed me in more ways than I can count, and has loved me well. Even if she hurts me again, these things will still be true.
Can you say the same?
It’s not about forgetting, it’s about what we choose to remember.
How do you deal with a past hurt?
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