Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Offering the Grace of Forgiveness

Yesterday, I wrote about the grace of gifts. I started with the question of whether God's forgiveness is dependent upon how we act - our repentance, our sorrow at the sin we have committed. I believe it is not - forgiveness is offered, no matter what we do.

So why is it, then, that we make our forgiveness of other people dependent upon their repentance? We stubbornly wait for an apology before offering forgiveness. That's  not grace.

Sometimes, we preface our forgiveness with words like, "you couldn't help it - I forgive you." If the person couldn't help it, they don't need forgiveness, do they?

Sometimes, we say we forgive, and yet we do not - we keep coming back to the sin, holding it forth like it was a rare jewel that we can't let go of, lest we become powerless.

Sometimes, we never offer forgiveness for fear of being hurt again.

The grace of forgiveness is not dependent upon the sorrow the guilty party, or their innocence, or our fear. Forgiveness is grace. Thank God God will help us to offer it - even if the offering of it is very private, and not even shared with the oblivious person whom we are forgiving.

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