Forgive and forget? Pastor Rick Warren says it's 'impossible' to do as he shows a better way to deal with past hurts
Although to "forgive and forget" the offences done on us may seem to be the right thing to do, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church believes it is actually "impossible" to do so.
"You've heard this phrase over and over: 'Forgive and forget.' There's only one problem with it: You can't do it," he writes on his website.
Warren is not actually trying to discourage Christians from getting past their hurts and mistakes. What he wants to do is to guide people on how to best deal with their negative emotions.
"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," he explains.
"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," Warren explains.
"The Purpose Driven Life" author says cancer is not good, just like other diseases, death, divorce, war, rape, and abuse. There are a lot of evil things that happen in life, says Warren. As much as people want to forget these things, Warren wants to remind people that not everything happens according to God's will.
However, God has assured His children that He will help them find good in all of the bad things, just as long as people trust Him. 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."
When people come to God and hand Him the broken pieces of their lives, God will return "peace for your pieces," says Warren. "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," he says.
But as for forgetting the wrongs that were committed against a person, Warren says people cannot do it even if they tried. God does not want Christians to forget these wrongdoings anyway, because God wants His children to learn how to forgive and trust Him enough to see how He will work things for the better.