How to Forgive the Unrepentant
Be Willing To Forgive the Unrepentant
A forgiving heart is a heart that is always willing to forgive.
To be willing to forgive means you choose not to repay evil with evil, but welcome reconciliation. As Christians, we must always be willing and ready to forgive no matter the level of offence.
Has God forgiven the entire human race? Certainly Not! If God has forgiven everyone, then none will face his tribunal or punishment on the last day.
Is God ready and willing to forgive the entire human race? Yes of course. God freely grants forgiveness to anyone who repents from his evil ways. They are spared from his wrath. Now is the acceptable year of the Lord. All who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved.
The Lord Jesus is willing and ready to forgive anyone who comes to him in repentance (Luke 24.47). We must follow his footsteps.
To be willing to forgive does not mean to actually forgive. To be willing to forgive simply means the offended is not going to repay evil/wrong, and he is ready for reconciliation.
How To Forgive The Repentant
Forgive the Repentant
What is Forgiveness?
To forgive means to discharge the offender of the debt he owes, and to work to restore the broken relationship. As Christians, we must always forgive our transgressors when they repent. Let us take a look at verses on forgiveness in the Bible:
Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times in a day and comes back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” (Luke 17.3-4)
The Lord Jesus forgives all those who repent and receives them back in his sheepfold. He does not remember their sins. We must follow in his footsteps. To forgive means to forget the wrong and restore the relationship.
No relationship can survive without repentance and forgiveness. We will always hurt others. There must always be repentance and forgiveness. Relationships fail primarily because:
People do not communicate their hurt to others
People do not like being told of their wrongdoings
People are not willing to forgive
People do not forgive
People do not repent
If someone hurts you, go to him, and with a forgiving heart (not with a dominating, critical, accusing heart), tell him his wrong or rebuke him. The offender must be careful to listen to the offended and seek to make amends either by apologizing and/or by taking corrective actions. If the offender repents, the offender must forgive him and restore the relationship.
What if you are willing to forgive and be reconciled but the offender refuses to repent?
If the offender is unrepentant after you have told him of his wrong, his debt remains. You should continue to love him, but you must not remain close to him. If you are bound to offender for life e.g. marriage, you cannot divorce him, but you must be careful not to keep too much intimacy with a serpent or wolf. Serpent and wolves always bite. Keeping intimacy with an unrepentant person would mean:
- Nurturing a human monster. The offender will continue and grow in his evil works. Sooner, it will become more difficult to redeem him or the relationship.
2) Willfully giving yourself to torture. God wants us to be in good health both in body and soul. Abuse (Verbal, emotional, physical) and all wickedness and selfishness are deadly to the human soul.
God is willing and ready to forgive the whole world (he does not want to punish anyone), but he forgives and reconciles to himself only those who repent. We must imitate him.
Can I love someone who has hurt me deeply?
Yes, you can. The repentant offender needs grace, unmerited favor, mercy. Show him unmerited favor and purposely set your heart on him/her again and gradually trust him as you see more changes in him. Love hopes for the best. Always remember that God did not only forgive your wrongs, but he also poured his love on you by receiving you back wholeheartedly. If you are unable to love like God, then you must pray earnestly for God to help you have a forgiving heart. When we forgive from the heart, painful memories lose power. We must pray till we are able to forgive the offender from the heart (not from the head).
What if he apologizes all the time but keeps doing wrong?
If he apologizes, we must be quick to forgive (Mathew 18.21-35). Many are weak in character and do many wrong things. To love such people means to forgive them always as often as they apologize, while praying to God for them to have a change of character. However, we must be careful on the level of trust we put on them.
What is the purpose of forgiveness?
Forgiveness is love. Forgiveness is a kind of love that works primarily to build, strengthen and restore relationships. Parents, children, spouses, friends, brothers suffer from broken relationships. The world will be a better place to live in if everyone could forgive and repent.
Reconciliation is meant to bring the sinner to repentance and restore him to the path of righteousness. The person who repents is redeemed from the hands of sin and death. Always pray for the wicked that they would repent of their evil ways.
The Lord Jesus paid for the sin of the whole world. He is willing to forgive the whole mankind. He grants forgiveness only to those who repent of their sins. The sinner receives forgiveness only when he repents of his sins and turns back to God. Without repentance, a man cannot be reconciled to God even though God is willing and ready to forgive him in Christ Jesus.