Saturday, January 28, 2012

Forgive, Forget...Trust?

So we have all heard the saying: "Forgive and forget!"

We've been taught, rightfully so, that we must forgive to be forgiven. If we don't forgive those who trespass against us, how can God forgive us? It just won't happen. We can't harbor bitterness towards someone for something they've done to us.

But what about that "forget" part? If I forgive someone, I very rarely forget. Part of that is because I have a memory that is slightly disturbing to those that know me, but part of it, to me, is intelligence. If I've been wronged by someone, there is a higher chance that it will occur again. It doesn't mean that I don't forgive them, it just means that I remember what their character is like.

I'm interested to know how others see this issue, so please comment if you have something to say.

Most of us decide to do things for "New Year's Resolutions," and I'm no different. I generally don't keep them, but it is a time for me to look back at my year, see what worked, and see what needs to change. I'm the type of person though, that if I don't immediately begin that 'resolution,' I will continue to put it off and it will never be done. If I want to lose weight, I change my eating habits immediately. No "Diet starts tomorrow!" or "I'll start eating right next week." If I have the determination to do it then, I do it then, to make sure that I don't procrastinate.

Anyways, one of the things I wanted to do this year was read the Bible through, I'm failing miserably, but something I read gave me pause, and yes, it is related to the subject I'm writing about.

In Genesis 3:22-24, the Bible says this: "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken, So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

What that says to me is this: God forgave Adam and Eve for eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He even gave them furs instead of leaves to cover their nakedness...continued to care for them. But what He DIDN'T do, is trust them. He knew that if they were to eat from the tree of life, and it was a possibility since they'd already disobeyed and eaten from the tree of knowledge, they would live forever. So He kicked them out of Eden, and even went as far as to put an angel guard and a flaming sword to keep them out.

I haven't found anything in the Bible that says I have to trust someone after I've forgiven them, and this actually shows me what God has done in the past.

What do you think?


Kathy McElhaney said...

Nothing like asking the tough questions, Bekki!

I heard a preacher say, "It's not that I don't want to trust them, they have just proven they are not trustworthy." I do think it's a case by case basis. Yes, we must forgive. But there are some people who will never be trustworthy. They just won't. So you remove yourself from their ability to hurt you, as much as humanly possible. Continue to forgive them, but steer clear when you can.

In the case of a marriage, forgetting is a good thing. Of course you need to marry someone you trust with your life and heart. After almost 21 years, I've learned I better forget. Because I want Les to forget the times when I'm the idiot in the family ;)

Rachel Peterson said...

Hey Bekki,
I have wrestled with this question for a very long time. I do not think trust is required, and as a fairly guarded person, I do not trust easily to begin with. However, I found a difficult catch in this: Jesus loved with openness. He gave of himself to people he KNEW were going to fail him and hurt him. So where does that leave us? I have to love unreservedly. Not being afraid of what love costs, and how much it takes from us. From the very depths of ourselves. I don't mean casting pearls before swine either, but that is another issue...just my thoughts.