There’s someone in my past where our relationship was rancid, and if I see them in the future—which I hope to do—it may be helpful for both of us if I forgive them for some of their past behavior. But with what kind of forgiveness?
I now believe there are two kinds of forgiveness. There’s worldly forgiveness, the kind we so often see, which is a forgiveness that has to be earned somehow by the offending party. Then there’s God’s forgiveness, which is unearned, always offered, just waiting to be accepted. All we have to do, as those who offend God with our sins, is acknowledge those sins, believe in God’s forgiveness, reach out to Him, and accept His forgiveness.
Now regarding that person from my past, God calls me to forgive as He forgives. That person doesn’t need to ask for my forgiveness, they don’t need to earn my forgiveness in any way. Thanks to God and how He has worked within me, my forgiveness is already given. If that person and I meet again, all they have to do is accept my forgiveness.
So what do you think about this idea of earned verses accepted forgiveness?