We can Forgive but We Can't Forget

1635 Words Feb 26th, 2018 6 Pages
I was wondering if I would be able to forgive him for abandoning his own family with not enough resources to survive. I would like to think I would because I acknowledged and overcame what had happened to my family and chose to move forward without dwelling in hatred and anger. I forgave, but I did not forget. According to Lewis B. Smedes, a Christian author, ethicist, and theologian, “Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future” (qtd. in Goodreads inc 3). In other words, “the bitter past” that we remember as a sad or difficult time becomes one from which we have grown wiser. Forgiveness is an internal process that takes time and efforts to develop; it does not happen spontaneously. By letting go, we give up our roles as victims; it is a promise to stop torturing ourselves and to fully move on. If you wait to forget before you forgive, you will live a life full of misery and frustration. Forgiveness is a defense mechanism that protects us both from inside evil that eats us internally (such as anger and hatred) and outside evil that we had been exposed to. It also helps us to recover after grieving time had passed. Forgiving is not about forgetting; it is about the decision to let…

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