Caution: being a real Christian could seriously hamper your ability to remember others' wrongs.

I have noticed social media posts, bumper stickers, etc., reflecting much the same sentiment: "I'll forgive, but never forget!" or to paraphrase a song, "God might forgive you, but I won't forget."

I'm not quite sure what they mean, but possibly, "I accept that you're stupid, cruel, selfish, and a total waste of space, but deep-down you're still technically a child of God, so I guess I do love you at some level. However, I will not forget that you are a stupid, cruel, selfish, total waste of space ever, ever as long as I live and possibly longer." Is that an accurate assessment of this sentiment? 

Here's a similar one: "Lots of people hurt me and tried to destroy my life. But I've forgiven them and now I'm moving on, even stronger." It really doesn't sound like they're moving on at all. Or, like one of my acquaintances whose family put her through "hell", had to live in an office building, had to sleep in the car, etc., yet she says she forgives. But I could tell you the details of these stories because she repeats them so often.

I think people say these things partly because they want us to think they are Christians, but don't want us to think that they will "fall for it" again. They're feeling defensive and want us to know we can't sneak up on them to hurt them again. But God says that when we make Him our delight and are happy to do His will throughout our lives, "Then your light will break out as the morning, and your healing will appear quickly; then your righteousness shall go before you; and Yahweh’s glory will be your rear guard" (Isaiah 58:8, World English Bible). So, when I know God's will and follow it with all my heart, He's got my back (or my butt, whichever).

The kindest Person who ever lived was Jesus Christ. He is also supposedly the Leader of the Christian faith--my Leader. This means I'm supposed to follow Him and His example. As He was suffering on a cross, one of the cruelest forms of punishment, He asked God to forgive the people who put Him on the cross. This is after He has been beaten bloody to where He is no longer recognizable. This is after one of His best friends has said He doesn't know Him (the other two best friends weren't around at the time). All of this suffering and pain as a person with all the nerves endings that we have. All of this not because of His guilt, but in spite of His innocence.

We almost always have a part in any hurt that we have been through. Even if we don't, we are guilty of other things. We are not innocent. We also have wronged people who have graciously forgiven and forgotten our offense or not. How does it feel when people don't truly forgive and forget my wrongs? Would it be a God-thing for me to try to make someone else feel that way?

Since I am a Christian, I have a mandate to truly forgive, so I must know what God's version of true forgiveness is. Psalm 103 is a wonderful expression of the beautiful, loving nature of God. Verse 12 talks about how God forgives: "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12, World English Bible). This doesn't sound like, "I forgive, but not forget." This sounds like, "When I forgive, I separate you, the person, from your wrong actions forever." 

I cannot live a victorious life until I know Who God is and act as God would act because I am created in God's image. Holding a resentment or a grudge, having a sullen attitude and pretending to be a Christian will not cut it because God sees my heart. My heart must be pure before God.