Forgiveness and Repentance

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I have a confession to make. Well, it is more of an admission. Last night, and a host of others, my husband told me that I don’t forget anything. And, it’s true.

It is so true that even as I work my subconscious mind is reminded of something that has happened to me in the past. A smell, an image or a sound can set off a stream of images that can invoke emotions of anger, fear, nervousness or passion. Evernote ain’t got nothing on me! I already remember everything.

While having a great memory and the ability to effortlessly connect events, stories and ideas are key benefit to my work as a public relations consultant and writer, it can cause detriment in my relationship. In many cases, it is a perceived affect because no maliciousness is present in my heart. Connecting the dots is simply an innate trait of mine.

I am forgiving. When I am wronged, it doesn’t take very long for me to decide to forgive my offender. In most cases, I forgive before I’m asked. I learned very early in life that not forgiving another person actually causes detriment to the person who does not forgive.

I seldom forget. See above—just kidding. I don’t let situations or the actions of others to fester in my thoughts. The way my memory works is a bit more subtle. Triggers—whether action or item—causes “back-of-the-mind” memories to become acute.

For example, if a person purposely stepped on your toes daily from 2007 until 2010 but had a change of heart and stopped you’d appreciate it. Even if that person never steps on your toes again, somewhere deep inside you will remember. You may not dwell on it or even think about it often but you will remember. What if that same person makes an internal decision to never step on your toes again but still walks by you and lift her feet to show you that she still can step on your feet if she wanted to. Mind you, it is 2013 and she has not stepped on your feet in 3 years. Your memory, your body will let you know simply because of a human’s instinct to survive.

repent

Forgiveness and Repentance

This phenomena is almost as difficult to code as which came first the chicken or the egg.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. – Matthew 6:14-15

I totally get this concept. I believe that I am a forgiving person although I am not necessarily a forgetting person.

You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. – Micah 7:19

God can make a conscious choice to cast the remembrance of our sins into the sea of forgetfulness. Humans are not capable of doing this. So, we must exercise our actions towards one another that shows repentance.

Repentance. An apology is not the same thing as repentance. An apology is simply an acknowledgement of wrong-doing. Repentance is much, much more.

  1. Apology – acknowledging wrong-doing.
  2. Remorse – feeling personal pain because of an action.
  3. Intent to Change – the heart to change your action.
  4. Change Manifested – the act of change towards the person you wronged.

I understand that the bridge between “Intent to Change” and “Change Manifested” takes time. During that time, I would like to be able to not bring up past offenses even if his behavior brings it to mind.

I want to be a good wife, mom and person. In theory, I understand forgiveness and repentance. I just don’t understand how to truly forget. Can you go through things with your mate without bringing up the past? If so, I’d love to know your secret.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the item; I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Makasha Dorsey is an award-winning author, motivational speaker and public relations professional. Her personal essay Diary of an Aspie Mom is included in The Motherhood Diaries (Strebor Books/Simon & Schuster). She blogs about being a writer, mother, wife, woman and Christian over at a wife in progress and has written for Absolute Write, The Midwest Book Review, Snaps1000Words, The Daily Times Leader, and ModVive Magazine. You can purchase a copy of her book First Family Secrets on Amazon.com.

2 comments on “Forgiveness and Repentance”

  1. Michael Rondeau Reply
    In my many years I have found a different order on the above; 1)Remorse- I have never known a need to apologise unless I first felt I had done someone a wrong. 2) Apology- If I am not cold and callous my Remorse will motivate m Apology. 3) Intent- is just that; an "Intent" as it is said The road to Hell is paved in good Intentions. There should not be a (4) 3) Should be the "Manifest Change". The safest road to Hell is the gradual one with gentle slope, soft underfoot without sudden turning, without milestones, without sign. I did not author the above but I do subscribe to its Truth

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