I can forgive, but I cannot forget," is only another way of saying, "I will not forgive." Forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note--torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.
A man once had too much to drink at a party. First, he made a foolish spectacle of himself--even to the point of wearing the proverbial lampshade as a hat--and then he passed out. Friends helped his wife take him home and put him to bed. The next morning he was very remorseful and asked his wife to forgive him. She agreed to "forgive and forget" the incident.
As the months went by, however the wife referred to the incident from time to time, always with a little note of ridicule and shame in her voice. Finally, the man grew weary of being reminded of his bad behavior and said, "I thought you were going to forgive and forget."
"I have forgiven and forgotten," the wife argued, "but I just don't want you to forget that I have forgiven and forgotten."
Once we have confronted an offender, we must remember nothing is gained from harboring unforgiveness in our hearts. Forgiveness requires a healing process inside us--to the point where we no longer feel any pain at the memory of what the other person did or said to injure us.
We "forget" when we no longer hurt! Forgive, forget, and start living again.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.