Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. If you forgive someone for something awful, how do you forget it? Or are forgiving and forgetting the same thing?
A. Forgive and forget is an old saying we have all heard, but it is not found in the Bible. While Christ taught that if our brother wrongs us and repents, we are to forgive him (even if this happens seventy times seven times! Ė Matthew 18:21-22). He did not require that we forget. In many cases, forgetting what our neighbor has done to us would be humanly impossible, although ideally that is what we should strive to do. (But if we canít completely forget, the very least we can do is to never mention the offense again or hold it against the person in any way.)

God, in contrast, has the power to perfectly forget our sins once we have repented (Isa. 43:25). But even though God forgave the prophets and patriarchs of old, he still allowed their sins to be recorded and remembered in the Bible, as an example to others (I Cor. 10:11).
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