Grace and Forgiveness
Despair has been called the unforgivable sin - not presumably because God refuses to forgive it but because it despairs of the possibility of being forgiven. (Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking)
It is impossible to think of forgiveness without considering it in the light of grace. Grace is the unmerited and unlimited love of God for us. Because of grace, we have been forgiven - not just of sins that we can excuse, but of all sins. And not just you and me, but everyone.
Do you believe that? Or do you believe that there are sins that God won't forgive? Or sins that we have to work very hard to convince God to forgive? Or people who God will not forgive?
And if grace abounds, and all sins are forgiven, and God offers grace, even to you and me, then what barriers do we place in front of God that block our reception of God's grace?
And what barriers do we place in front of other people to prevent them from experiencing God's grace and forgiveness?
And perhaps the hardest question of all, if we are called to act as children made in the image of God, following the model of Christ, then who have we denied the grace of forgiveness?