I’ve been a born-again child of God for almost 28 years. I was saved when I was fifteen years old and since, then, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Therefore, in the intervening years, I’ve also had to make a lot of apologies to both fellow-Christians and non-Christians alike. Interestingly, I have had a 100% forgiveness rate from the non-Christian population. When I have done someone wrong at work or elsewhere, and I’ve apologized, they have said, “It’s ok,” and treated me with kindness.
In the church, or the Christian world, it’s another story. I have about a 90% success rate on receiving forgiveness there. Why is that? Shouldn’t Christians immediately forgive, since they are aware more than anyone of their own sin-riddled condition? They have experienced eternal salvation by the sinless Son of God! They should revel in that blessing and desire to shine that light to everyone, they should understand mercy, patience, self-control, the struggle between what one wants to do, and what one should do (Romans 7), yet, when I have apologized, they have stared at me and walked away. Or they have never replied to my written apologies. I do not know why this has been the case.
I do know that all I can do is apologize. I’m not perfect. I can’t live a perfect life. No one can.
I also know Christ has forgiven me, and He continues to be not just generous with His forgiveness, but philanthropic with it! He will never, ever stop forgiving me. God is the One I will face in Heaven someday, He is the only One who can judge me, and He has judged me as righteous because of His Son, Jesus.
I also know that I can forgive others. As far as I know, I have a 100% forgiveness rate myself. If anyone has ever come to me and apologized for hurting me, I have forgiven them. Granted, there have been times I have been hurt and that person has never said they are sorry about it. But I try not to remember those hurts and I strive to move forward in love and kindness regardless. If they ever do desire my forgiveness, I’m ready to give it.
I don’t understand why Christians don’t forgive. It’s a mystery! I just know that I don’t want to be that kind of Christian.