There have been times in my life when I was deeply betrayed and let down by people I thought I could count on. The deeper and more hurtful the betrayal, the harder it is to forgive. But Jesus made clear to us God’s expectation regarding forgiveness in Matthew 6:14,15-

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Jesus also used a parable to make His point. The apostle Peter asked how many times he needed to forgive his brother.
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.  “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.  And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
-Matthew 18:21-35

Anyway, I went through a period of time where I was having a lot of trouble forgiving. I am happy to say that through the Grace and Power God lends, I have entirely forgiven. But reconciliation is not an option at this point. For awhile I was worried that my reluctance to be reconciled indicated I had not truly forgiven.

Now I realize that reconciliation is another step down the path of forgiveness, but forgiveness is complete without reconciliation. However, the one wronged must be open to reconciliation, provided the offender is repentant and is willing to change their behavior.



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