“But aren’t we supposed to forgive, forget, and move on? Isn’t that how Christians are SUPPOSED TO forgive?”
Unforgiveness weighs us down and isolates us from one another. Forgiveness lightens the load and restores community.
Unforgiveness separates us from God, from others, and from the truth. Forgiveness reconciles us to God, to others, and restores our connection to the Truth.
Unforgiveness is the heaviest burden a person can carry, yet it is the easiest one to take on. Forgiveness I can be the most difficult journey to undertake.
The only escape and relief from Unforgiveness is: FORGIVENESS.
Many people outside and (especially) inside Christianity misunderstand forgiveness. Combinations of defective hermeneutics, logic, and homiletics, added to a certain level of emotionalism, plus one person after another repeating the same misinformation, has created an unbiblical and unhealthy view of forgiveness.
I want to tackle forgiveness from a Biblical, practical, and authentic perspective. Only by understanding forgiveness from God’s perspective can we experience and extend true forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a component of redemption.
The Defective-Hermeneutics Spiral
In Psalm 103:12 we read:
“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
In Isaiah 43:25 the Lord is quoted as saying,
“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.”
Then in Hebrews 8:12 (quoting Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 31:34; Jeremiah 50:20; and Micah 7:18-19) we read,
“FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.”
These passages are conflated, over-extrapolated, and the doctrine of “Forgive-Forget-and-Move-On” results.
Because of a misunderstanding of the Biblical languages and a weak approach to hermeneutics, we are often taught the phrases “remember no more”, and “will not remember”, mean that God develops the equivalent of “Divine Amnesia”.
This is not at all the case. Both the Hebrew and the Greek words used in these and comparable passages where remembering is employed in this manner, are referring to a “being mindful of; mentioning” and similar concepts.
When this misunderstanding is combined with a decontextualized Philippians 3:13 where Paul speaks of “forgetting what is behind”—which is referring to his pedigree and accomplishments as well as what others have done to him—we arrive at the defective idea that, as Christians, we are to, “Forgive, forget, and move on.”
Nothing could be more unbiblical as regards forgiveness than this idea. In fact, this false teaching regularly retraumatizes people and, very often, becomes propagandized so strongly that spiritual abuse results.
It is important that we take hold of God’s view of forgiveness and adhere to it if we are to live free, healthy, and become able to walk in authentic, godly forgiveness.
In this series of posts, we are going to look at the three types of forgiveness described in the Bible: Judicial Forgiveness; Internal Forgiveness; Relational Forgiveness.
Since forgiveness is analogous of Christianity, this seems like a good place from which to launch a new blog – don’t you agree?