Forgiveness. It can mean a lot, or very little, all depending on how you view the given situation. There are many benefits to keeping it close at hand and easily given.
Are you aware of your sin? It hurts to be conscious of just how terrible you really are. I know I deserve to die, in fact, worse- to be tortured for the rest of my existence by the sin I chose.
Jesus hanging on the cross becomes a pivotal point and the ultimate act of love from that point of view, though. He came to kill death; to abolish the consequences sin.
He went that far to restore our relationship with Himself, full well knowing that we might brush aside the action of resolution and restoration and grip the rift-causing sin harder still.
None the less, He humbled Himself for our sake and experienced unimaginable pain to attempt to heal the relationship.
Those who have accepted the forgiveness that has been extended have been given the responsibility to extend that forgiveness, or humble themselves by asking for it- whichever may be needed.
Christians should be the ones with the best relationships; quality of communication and respect should be held as a high priority to the redeemed.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
“But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
– Matt. 6:15
Basically, it’s a pretty big deal, and that’s an understatement!
To forgive is to forget, we mustn’t forget.
In Matthew 18 is the parable of the Unforgiving Servant. He was forgiven of a debt by his master, then went on not to forgive a debtor of his own. “‘And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. ‘My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.'” (Matt. 18:34-35)
There was no way that the servant could pay the debt while being held and tortured. Same with us, there is no way we can possibly pay the debt we owe God by choosing sin.
If we have been forgiven, then we have the ability to funnel the forgiveness that has been freely given to us to the people who have wronged us. It is free to us; it was not free for Jesus to give though. In the same way, it will cost something for us to forgive, if only our pride, but it will lead to real life in so many senses!