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Is it ok to forgive, but not forget? Is the forgiving not valid if you still feel pain by the actions of another?

Long story shot version: grew up with father abusing mother, many issues. He never hit me, but did my sister. He died in June and now I sort of am feeling this way about the above question. What do you think?


Asked by Teachermom01 at 7:57 AM on Jul. 15, 2008 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (13)
  • Im the mother of an incest survivor, and the molestor was my exhusband....after 8 long years, and much condemnation from other people, i finally forgave my ex husband...what allowed me to do this, was first my relationship with God, AND realizing that forgiveness ISNT for the abuser, its for yourself....when you hang onto bitterness and anger, you are only hurting yourself, not them..Forgiveness never means, you excuse, condone what was done to you or a loved one. It just means letting go so that YOU can have healthy relationships with the people you love...and no, you never forget either......some scars just never heal completely...

    Answer by mamavicki45 at 8:57 AM on Jul. 15, 2008

  • Yes. God never asked us to forget, only to forgive.

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 8:42 AM on Jul. 15, 2008

  • We're not meant to forget the experiences of our lives b/c they are what shape us into who we are, but we should use them as an opportunity to learn. If you're still having trouble with the situation, keep on praying about it. Ask God to give you peace and remove the burden from your heart. If you do so sincerely, I promise He will change your perspective and heal you. Good luck & God bless.

    Answer by KDW211 at 9:18 AM on Jul. 15, 2008

  • What Renee said....

    Answer by SAHMinIL at 9:57 AM on Jul. 15, 2008

  • When you care about someone you forgive them but were only human so it's not really possible to forget those hurtful things.

    Answer by Lizzie32390 at 10:45 AM on Jul. 15, 2008

  • I like and appreciate what everyone said. The only clause is I don't care for him, that is a dark area. If I forgive for myself I can see that.

    Answer by Teachermom01 at 10:48 AM on Jul. 15, 2008

  • There's a huge difference to me between forgiving and forgetting. Forgiving means letting go of the hurt and anger and helping yourself heal. Forgetting means we didn't learn from the ordeal and are in danger of repeating the cycle. KDW211 made valid points about our past experiences shaping the person we are today. ---- I have a feeling you already knew that though!

    Answer by lit_candle at 11:07 AM on Jul. 15, 2008

  • Forgiving while not forgetting, I think, is the ONLY way to go if you're going to forgive. You LEARN from the past. If you don't carry on what you learned from the bad times... they what was their point?

    Answer by Laura1229 at 11:38 AM on Jul. 15, 2008

  • Complicated question. If you truly forgive someone, it's supposed to be as though the offense never happened. But we're all human and only One is able to forgive so completely. In this instance, your father is dead. Would it not be better to remember what good he did, instead of holding on to the hurts? Remembering the abuse does you no good now. Dwelling on the hurts will only eat away at you. That doesn't mean that if your sister needs to talk about it, you cut her off. It just means that you don't have to actively remember and rehash it for the sake of rehashing it.

    Answer by CreativeSpirit at 11:44 AM on Jul. 15, 2008

  • You may not believe this, but nothing muc he did was good. It took me a month to think of one thing that was not tainted by the abuse and drinking he did. I felt good that I could come up with one thing, and my sister agreed with that ONE thing. Everything else that seemed possibly good was overshadowed by alcohol or role playing to make the outside world thing we were this great family. I am so thankful for a lot in my life. I have it good. But this is my darkness. I finally thought that if I did forgive it could help me, and only me, nothing for him. This came to me in church last Sunday, but I am not sure if I am ready. Maybe this is the beginning. I had always thought forgiveness was letting the offender off the hook. I can't let go of accountability issues, but maybe I'm creeping toward the forgiveness side. I don't know yet. You are all helping me out. Thank you!

    Answer by Teachermom01 at 12:30 PM on Jul. 15, 2008