I wish I could forget

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Ever said this? I bet you have. There’s something that’s happened to you that you wish you could wipe from your memory forever. You wish it would never pop up when you hear that song. Or visit that restaurant. Or smell that smell or see that movie. You wish you could go back to the time before it ever happened because the reminder is so deeply painful.

I was recently meeting with someone who had been deeply sinned against. He had been hurt by someone else, and he made the statement, “I just wish I could forget that this ever happened.”

Maybe you’ve said something like that.

You wish you could forget

  • that relationship
  • what she did to you
  • how he treated you.
  • when your dad left.
  • when you failed at ___.
  • when you quit ______.
  • the pain of divorce.
  • when you started your addiction.
  • when he hit you.
  • when you got fired.
  • when you had to ask my kids to forgive me.
  • the time he sinned against you.
  • the time he sinned against you again.
  • the time he sinned against you again and again.

It would be easier to just forget this pain, wouldn’t it?

But remembering the pain of someone hurting you allows you to love them in a way you couldn’t otherwise. It gives you the chance to offer grace where it is not deserved. Forgiveness where it hasn’t been earned. And it encourages you to seek God in a way you wouldn’t otherwise, being forced to lean on Him for support in a fuller way than you may have without the pain.

God doesn’t let us fully forget. Because by leaning more fully on God, and offering more grace, love, and forgiveness, we become more like Jesus.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. – the Apostle Paul, Romans 8:28-29


Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Velle-del

    Love this!

  • Pam komaridis

    I so want to forget a rage ful blast of written hate from my biological sister she sent six years ago. I received it at the time imwas preparing to remarry and graduate from nursing school. It was obvious she had carried all this rage toward me for years. Since then, she has been wanting to get closer and even live near me. Imam scared of her motives. Imstruggle daily to,forgive her. I want to love her like I love my closest friend Judy. I am 61 and my sister 59. My heart aches to be in harmony with her. We just finished a bible study on Romans at my church. And I well remember the verses you quoted above. But what you said before is helping me put into perspective forgiveness and it’s purpose. I want to love my sister freely, without reserve and caution. Isn’t that how Christ died for me?

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Absolutely it is, Pam! Glad this was helpful for you. I’m praying for you right now.