Ok so here is the thing, I think we can get a bit sick of forgiveness. Whenever we talk about forgiveness there always seems to be an uneasiness about the demands a discussion about forgiveness can place on us. We can often feel like if we talk about it then we need to do it, and well that is just something I can’t do. And when another conversation comes up on the subject of forgiveness we flee. But not this time, let’s talk about it.
Now I just need to point out though that there is a spanner in the works. It seems that there is also another view, quite strong and in some sense off-putting view. It is the view that forgiveness is only given if we forgive those who sin against us. Darn it. Here goes the dreaded, “if we talk about it then we need to do it.” part. I will put a (do it) at the beginning of these verses.
(Do it) “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”(Luke 6:37 NIV11)
(Do it) “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12 NIV11)
(Do it) “14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14–15 NIV11)
(Partner) “ 3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”” (Luke 17:3–4 NIV11)
(Me) “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”” (Luke 23:34 NIV11)
(Partner) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV11)
(Me) “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6 NIV11)
(Me)“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NIV11)
There is a whole lot more found in the Scriptures but this will give us enough to go on. What do you think, which view sits with you the most, or is it a both and? And does any of these views make forgiveness easier to digest and enact? What do you think?