Forgive and Let Go


Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was said to never hold grudges. One day someone reminded her of an offense that another person had committed against her. “Don’t you remember?” the friend pressed. “No,” Barton replied. “I distinctly remember forgetting that.”

Forgiving and forgetting are not precisely the same. While God declares that he’ll “remember [our] sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34), it’s tough for humans to completely forget harm done to us, even when we want to forgive.

On the other hand, like Barton, we can consciously choose not to ruminate on an offense, as a cow does its cud. We can opt not to bring up past hurts during present disagreements, and we can intentionally not recount someone’s sin to a third party, hoping they’ll take our side. In the process of “choosing to forget” the wrong done to us, surely we’ll also find it easier to forgive.

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