When someone has hurt you, the natural response is to want to hurt them back. Our desires to get that person back often leads to tremendous stress, anxiety, and loss of sleep. Instead of resting comfortably, we toss and turn, have visions of hurting the other person, and, in general, seethe.
When I am tempted to do the same, I remember the benefit of forgetfulness. The more I can do to put my hurt behind me, the more effective I can be in life. I think that is one of the greatest benefits of forgiveness. I am no longer enslaved to my anger, but I am able to move forward. It isn’t easy to forgive and forget. Someone may have hurt you deeply. But forgiveness doesn’t let the crime go unnoticed nor does it deny the fact you have been hurt. What forgiveness does is release you from the bondage of that hurt. While it is not easy to forget, it may be exactly what you need to remember.
Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never even heard of the incident. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Barton’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”
I hope you too can “distinctly remember forgetting.”