Jesus said a lot about forgiveness. In the Lord's Prayer, we say, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." The word "trespasses" varies in different congregations, but the thought is to forgive others as we seek to be forgiven ourselves. Jesus taught us to love our enemies and by doing so to forgive their hurtful ways. Jesus by example even forgave those who crucified him.

We know that to restore broken relationships it is important to forgive one another. Some rifts are easily corrected when a hurtful word is forgiven by a friend. For the most part, these hurts are not only forgiven but forgotten.

But there are faults for which we are not willing to forgive. Recently in Nashville, a man was put to death by the State for killing his wife. The children of the couple were of differing opinions on how to move forward. Some wanted the father to be forgiven and to be spared by the Governor from capital punishment. Other children wanted the father to die for what he did. The father was executed.

There are circumstances when it is difficult to forget even if you have forgiven the person who committed the offense. And then there are situations when those offended do not forgive and refuse to forget.

I knew a brother and sister who fought over who should receive a diamond ring left by a deceased parent. Each felt deserving of the ring. The brother took it angering his sister. For the remainder of their lives, they wouldn't speak to each other. When the brother died the sister was informed of his death. She repeated a quote she had heard. "My Momma taught me to say something good about the dead. He's dead. Good!"

When we have truly forgiven someone we need to train ourselves to forget as best we can. When the memory recurs remember when you forgave the person who offended you. Say a little prayer for that person, and then ask God to help you to let the issue go. You don't have to carry the pain into the future. Dwelling on the hurt preserves it in your memory.

There are times when we need to remember to forget for the sake of our own spiritual health. Let it close, and be kind to yourself.