by Linda Vernick from the Association of Biblical Counselors – Why We Must Never Forget Even When We Do Forgive
Editor’s note: This may be coming from a Christian counselor publication, but it’s a step in the right direction in the way forgiveness and self-protection should work together.
Forgetting the past could put you and others in continued danger. Recently the media has been covering a story chastising the silence of the church leadership at Covenant Life Church, and former pastor Grant Layman, because they did not report allegations of rape and sexual abuse and withheld incriminating information from the police.
We are not privy to all of the details of this case but for whatever reasons, whether to protect the church’s reputation from ugly scandal or a misapplication of Biblical forgiveness and forgetting, they closed their eyes and allowed other children in their congregation to be vulnerable to a sexual predator.
Sin always, always, always has negative consequences. Sometime the consequences are short term but other times they are permanent. I hope if someone molested one of your children, no matter how much he or she repented, I hope you would never allow him or her unsupervised contact with any of your children or anyone else’s children that you know. You may forgive him or her, but you must never forget.
When we as biblical counselors, encourage someone to forget, we are asking him or her to do the impossible. God gave us our memory for a good purpose.