Pastor Rick Warren gave me this quiz recently. I passed. Before reading any further, please take it by deciding if each statement is true or false.
- A person should not be forgiven until asking for it.
- Forgiving includes minimizing the offense and the pain caused.
- Forgiveness includes restoring trust and reuniting a relationship.
- You haven’t really forgiven until you’ve forgotten the offense.
- When you see somebody hurt, it is your duty to forgive the offender.
If you really understand what forgiveness is, then you know each of those statements are false. How did you do?
If you’d like, click on the following link to read the full devotional: What Forgiveness Really Is.
Most people have it wrong. “Forgive and Forget” is the worst advice. In fact, it’s not even possible. The mere act of trying to forget something places it as the forefront of your mind!
We are not asked to forget the offense. Rather, God wants us to trust he will bring good out of it. That’s more important because it replaces a resentful mindset with a grateful one. You can’t be thankful for things you forget. Rather, we can experience true joy by remembering how God took that horribly bad thing and made sure a series of events transformed it in to a very good thing.
Understanding what forgiveness really is enables this trust. Forgive and then see how good will result.