I admit that I’m having trouble with the phrase “forgive and forget”. Over the past few weeks, there have been difference scenarios brought to mind in which I keep hearing this phrase as a mantra… but is it meant as one for me to follow or in which to take heed?
The Bible tells us that Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Earlier in the book of Matthew, He also says “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Is this a parable through which we are to understand how to comport ourselves on earth or is this another time when I need to seek the council of my priest? I just have such a hard time with this phrase.
Most recently, I’ve been told to “let it go” when I rant about the unfair treatment of my son at the hand of his college lacrosse coach throughout his senior year. I know I should do so, but there’s a little part of me that wants to know how I could possibly make things better if I don’t forget… if I could do something that would have an effect on the future if I didn’t let things go. Am I being delusional in thinking that my actions would have any effect at all? My son doesn’t seem to have a problem letting this situation go… why am *I* having such a hard time doing so as well?
You know the old proverb: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. The idea is that after being tricked once, one should be wary, so that the person cannot trick you again. I was on the receiving end of such a situation a few years back while serving on a board in our church in which two members of our parish went to great lengths to publicly disparage my actions and abilities. The situation was caustic enough to both me and my family that taking a step away was truly the best course of action left for us. Over the subsequent years, I have found other ways to feed my spirituality… but forget? I don’t think so. I’m a self-described “happy yellow lab” (see previous posting), but there are definitely times when I follow that proverb more closely than I might like to admit. Those people fooled me all those years ago, but I don’t know if I could find my way back again if I were to allow them to fool me again.
Maybe I’m just a little too human but I’m offering up a warning to all who see me as a doormat. I can allow for mistakes… I can forgive poor judgement in most cases… just don’t expect me to come back as quickly the next time. I have been blessed with reason and memory… God gave me these gifts… and I’ll use them as needed to protect myself and those I love.
Hopefully I can be more positively focused in my next posting… God has bestowed many gifts upon my life and I need to give credence to all that is good in my life instead of dwelling on that which is not.
Can you forgive and forget this posting?