Forgiving does not mean forgetting. When we forgive a

person, the memory of the wound might stay with us for a

long time, even throughout our lives. Sometimes we carry the

memory in our bodies as a visible sign. But forgiveness

changes the way we remember. It converts the curse into a

blessing. When we forgive our parents for their divorce, our

children for their lack of attention, our friends for their

unfaithfulness in crisis, our doctors for their ill advice,

we no longer have to experience ourselves as the victims of

events we had no control over.

Forgiveness allows us to claim our own power and not let
these events destroy us; it enables them to become events
that deepen the wisdom of our hearts. Forgiveness indeed
heals memories

(HT: Prodigal Kiwi)

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

2 comments on “Nouwen on Forgiveness

  1. Camel Rider says:

    Good quote….
    When we forgive someone must we also be reconciled? If someone wrongs me…and I forgive them (without them asking), then they try to act like nothing ever happened….must I go along with it….even if I don’t like them or trust them?

  2. Todd Littleton says:

    Camel Rider,
    The answer really lies in what story you want to write for/about yourself in relationship to both the “other” and yourself. Your questions also indicate the latent possibility you will let the festering matter once again have power over you as you evaluate the other persons actions and lack of repentance and reconciliation in relationship to the one you forgive. In writing about possibility and impossibility, Derrida suggestsed that if there is the possibility of no forgiveness regarding a given action then there is no forgiveness for any action. I would think he got that from Jesus.

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