One of the toughest parts of Christian doctrine is the requirement that we forgive those who have sinned against us. I could write out a big long thing about what forgiveness is and is not, but … not where I’m going.
It’s too easy, living in fleshsuits, to think of other humans as our true enemies. But this is theologically flawed.
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
People, humans, are all – ALL – potential siblings in Christ. If they live, they have the opportunity to become redeemed. It doesn’t matter how black their sins – they could repent, they could come to Christ.
There are two possibilities for all:
1) They choose not to repent, and will pay in Hell for all of eternity
2) Jesus paid for their sins on the cross. The sinless One was whipped nearly to death, spit upon, and crucified. Debt – paid in full.
Forgiveness – even radical forgiveness – does NOT mean that justice is not served. Radical forgiveness turns the justice utterly over to Christ. It cuts the bonds and pain tying the one who has been sinned against to the one who has sinned. The obedience pleases God. It is a fit sacrifice – and anything less is black sin, for our Lord said also that they who would not forgive would not *be* forgiven.
And it allows repentance a foothold. It returns the potential to the human who has done the harm. It calls them back home to Christ, and what a witness! How better to show forth God’s love and His reality than to do something utterly out of your fleshly power? Jesus forgave. I want to be like Jesus.
Don’t underestimate the power of obeying God past the place where you can see how it’s even possible. All things are possible with God. All things.