For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
My resolution this month is to forgive more fully and immediately. Honestly, I have never had a hard time forgiving, in general, and letting go of anger and disappointment, in particular, but something really struck me as I contemplated this resolution this week.
There is a HUGE difference between being able to "forgive" and being able to "forget" - and forgiveness is MUCH harder when forgetting is impossible. In my own life, the easiest example of this is an experience I had with a job - actually two jobs with similar examples.
1) I once worked as a Training Manager, and one of my primary responsibilities was to lead a certification process that was critical to the success of the company. Part of that process was compiling and systematizing all of the training records. Long story short, I had to resign from my job when I discovered some improper practices with regard to training records required for large contract bids and was told to ignore them.
2) I once worked as a Director at a company for a very short time. I was fired without warning, and the justifications I was given were ludicrous - they simply didn't make any sense, at all, at the time. I found out afterward that the person most intimately responsible for my evaluation had applied for my position before I was hired, and once I was gone she was given my position. Suddenly, it made sense.
What struck me as I thought about forgiveness this month is that there is no way for me to forget these situations and what they did to me. If it simply was a case of letting go, it wouldn't be all that hard for me - but, in each case, I had to find another job. In that process, I had to explain my short employment term in each case - over and over and over again. Literally, there is no way for me to forget - and what initially was quite easy for me to forgive has become less easy to let go, simply because it has been an unavoidable part of trying to find work again.
My only point for now is that we all need to be very careful about judging other people's ability to forgive - particularly based on the assumption that they should be able to forget. I really believe I have forgiven each person who was responsible for each situation, but I realized this week how easy it would be to believe I had forgiven simply by forgetting - then realize I had not when circumstances brought it to memory again.
I think we mix up the order way too much. I think forgetting is NOT the higher law; I would rather forgive and not forget than to forget but not forgive.