When people hurt us and then apologize, we may say that we forgive them. But like a dog that won’t give up its bone, we may let our mind continue to chew on past insults.
In 1 Corinthians 13:5, Paul declared that love “thinks no evil.” He was using an accountant’s term that described the recording of figures in a book. Love does the opposite—it does not keep a record of wrongs. Instead, love forgives and refuses to keep it on the books.
If you want to remember something, you go over it again and again. The child reviews his spelling words; the actress rehearses her lines; you review people’s names that you want to remember. But love deliberately and consciously lets go of past hurts and gives them to God.
It was said of one religious leader, “He never forgot slights done to him, which was his fundamental weakness. He might bury the hatchet for a time, but he gave the impression of always marking the spot.”
In contrast, when Methodist minister William Sangster was addressing Christmas cards, a friend noticed one name and remarked, “Don’t you remember how he slighted you?” Sangster responded, “Oh yes, I remember, but I have remembered to forget.” Let’s follow his example.
Lord, help me be kind and forgiving—
Your loving forgiveness You've shown
To me for the sins I've committed;
Lord, grant me a love like Your own. —Anon.
Remember to forgive—then remember to forget.