Here’s Part 1 if you missed it!
I reckon one of the reasons we don’t see forgiveness that way is because we miss one of the main components of forGIVEness. It involves giving! Most of our attitudes towards forgiveness are passive and so we wait to receive an apology so that we can take the offense we’ve stored in our heart and “let it go”.
I believe forgiveness is not the passive letting go of an offended heart but the rejection of the pain of the offense in exchange for love which is then poured out on the offender whether they are sorry or not. Forgiveness is a gift and the best gifts are undeserved.
We also often see forgiveness as a bargaining chip “If you do this, I’ll forgive you”. In this case, forgiveness is no longer a gift but actually becomes payment and the person receiving it becomes fully deserving of it. The virtue of the giver is lost.Forgiveness is supposed to cost us something. That’s what giving is. Sacrifice.
As Christians we understand that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) and therein lies the beauty of our salvation and the divine model for forgiveness! What if we sought to model this forgiveness to the world? Why don’t we?