Some people get impatient with people who are wounded. They get tired of hearing the stories of those who never seem to get over certain things.
“Forgive and forget,” they say.
“Move on,” they say. “
“Let it go,” they say.
If it were that easy, don’t you think they would have by now? I do not believe people really like misery as much as the impatient seem to think they do. As a matter of fact, I think that those who get annoyed or grumpy toward their wounded friends or relatives are more triggered by the pain of others than they might realize.
I have found, that when the one who is annoyed examines their own lives, they will find the patience to listen to others when they deal with their own pain which causes so much irritation.
Back to the question of whether or not “forgive and forget” works. It is true that forgiveness can be an integral part of healing. But is forgiveness healing? Not at all. Forgiveness can lead to healing but healing and forgiveness are 2 different things altogether.
Let’s look at a Biblical definition of forgiveness: According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary Forgiveness is: one of the constituent parts of justification. In pardoning sin, God absolves the sinner from the condemnation of the law, and that on account of the work of Christ, i.e., he removes the guilt of sin, or the sinner’s actual liability to eternal wrath on account of it. All sins are forgiven freely ( Acts 5:31 ; 13:38 ; 1 John 1:6-9 ). The sinner is by this act of grace for ever freed from the guilt and penalty of his sins. This is the peculiar prerogative of God ( Psalms 130:4 ; Mark 2:5 ). It is offered to all in the gospel. (M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.)
As you can see, it is not necessarily the removal of pain but rather the removal of sin and it’s punishment. Not all pain is caused by one’s own sin. Neither is all pain caused by the sin of another.
Next let’s look at the definition of healing: To restore a person or wound to health; cure a person or disease; of a wound become sound or whole. (the Concise Oxford Dictionary copyright 1952 public domain).
It is therefore clear that they are not the same.
I would suggest from my years of experience in the healing prayer ministry that although some can forgive without healing as an act of their will, when healing comes it is much easier to forgive. Healing is the restoring of a person to wholeness. When we are made whole in an area of woundedness, the ability to forgive is a natural by product of the healing and peace is the result.