David Murray, writing over at Christian Post, has a very interesting take on Christian forgiveness; he recommends we forgive as God forgives.
Here’s the kicker:
‘God does not forgive those who do not want forgiveness.’This is completely, 180o opposite of what most Christians believe – that we’re to forgive everyone who slights us, who ‘trespasses against us’, and everything’ll be just great. But Mr. Murray makes an interesting point: God offers forgiveness unconditionally, but He ‘does not forgive everyone regardless of their responses to His offer’, and His ‘forgiveness is conditional upon repentance (emphasis mine)’.
For the longest time, I’ve struggled with this very issue: why forgive someone if they don’t want it, or if they’re unwilling to repent of their transgression against me? And I, like (I’m betting) a whole lotta Christians out there, have conflated the offering of forgiveness with the actual act of forgiveness. We’re to offer to forgive but, as God does, we only forgive on the conditions that 1) the person wants it, and 2) that they repent of their transgression against us.
Pop on over and read the whole article. It makes a lot of sense, and (at least for me) makes the process of forgiveness much, much easier.