Bitterness in our heart will cause us a lot of mental, emotional, spiritual and even physical harm. When we refuse to let go of a relational hurt in our life it will cause a root of bitterness to grow that will cause our life to become toxic to those around us. We become critical of others and we typically walk around with a bad attitude. Although we will never be able to forget the hurt that someone caused us, we do need to get to a point where we forgive the person for the hurt. Read Rick Warren’s devotional to learn more about forgiveness:
You Don’t Have to Forget
by Rick Warren
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
You’ve heard this phrase over and over: “Forgive and forget.” There’s only one problem with it: You can’t do it. It’s impossible! You really can’t forget a hurt in your life. In fact, you can’t even try to forget it. Because when you’re trying to forget, you are actually focusing on the very thing you want to forget.
Forgetting is not what God wants you to do. Instead, he wants you to trust him and see how he can bring good out of it. That’s more important than forgetting, because then you can thank God for the good that he brought out of it. You can’t thank God for things you forget.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV).
It doesn’t say that all things are good, because all things are not good. Cancer is not good. Disease is not good. Death is not good. Divorce is not good. War is not good. Rape and abuse are not good. There are a lot of things in life that are evil. Not everything that happens in this world is God’s will.
But God says he will work good out of the bad things in life if you will trust him. When you come to him and say, “God, I give you all the pieces of my life,” he will return peace for your pieces. He gives you peace in your heart that comes from knowing that even if you don’t understand the hurt in your life, you can still forgive, knowing that God will use that pain for good.
You don’t have to forget the wrong thing that someone did to you. You can’t do it even if you tried! But God says you don’t have to forget it. You just have to forgive and then see how he will bring good out of it.
Talk It Over
- Who have you not forgiven because you haven’t wanted to forget or let go of what he or she did to you?
- What do you need to do today to forgive that person and move on?
- How have you seen God work good in your life from difficult situations?