Funny how we have such a hard time remembering things we really want to remember but cannot forget those things we ought to forget. Forgiveness is a tricky thing. While I suppose a hurt is impossible to actually forget, forgiveness means we don’t continue to dwell on the past, keeping account of wrongs done us by various ones like a bookkeeper with OCD. Yet that is exactly what the Lord expects of us.
When he told Peter his disciples should forgive unto “seventy-times seven” it was a hyperbole, an exaggeration for emphasis. No matter how many times a brother hurts me, I am to forgive. That large a number also emphasizes that I am to do my best to forget. How else could you forgive someone 490 times unless you have forgotten the previous 489? The Lord knew what He was asking of us—continual forgiveness for a brother, even for the same sin, as many times as it takes. He certainly understands the difficulty in that little proposition because He does it for us far more times than that. If we choose a number to stop at, He will too. He has probably already passed 490 with us.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could forget as easily as we can forget where we put the car keys, or our glasses, or the reason we went into the bedroom to begin with? We forget those things because we so often have our minds on something else and get sidetracked. Do you suppose that might work for forgiving others too?
Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye: and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense, Col 3:12-14; Prov 19:11.