Forgiveness does not just let things float. Of course, it is easier to let things float than it is to have a knock down drag out with someone who wronged you. You purse your lips, shrug your shoulders and say ‘whatever’. But that is not forgiveness.
Christ’s forgiveness was direct, positive and deliberate. Ours should be too.
There was a missionary who had been wronged by another. “Yes, I will forgive him” the missionary said, “but things can never be the same again.”
Is that forgiveness? Is forgiveness just some formal, cold declaration from behind closed doors? Can you imagine the voice from the throne of grace saying, “Yes, I will forgive you, but from now on I can’t feel the same about you”?
The forgiveness offered to us through Christ doesn’t remember. You must have heard this before, “Yes, I will forgive, but I can never forget”. Yet to forgive without forgetting is not to forgive at all.
But the kind of forgetting that God does is not like some old soul who has misplaced his glasses. God’s kind of forgetfulness chooses to release the offense. He refuses to hold sin against us. The Bible says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our sins from us.” And, “you have put all my sins behind your back.” And in Jeremiah, “I will remember your sins no more.”
We must forgive in the same way. We must choose to let go of any desire for revenge or payment or penalty. We are not called to glibly assign forgiveness while we secretly coddle bitterness and anger. We must not continue to make someone pay for their sin by treating them coldly. We must forgive as God forgives—totally and from the heart.
-Pastor Dino Griffin