When Jesus Christ teaches us to pray, he explains that we must forgive those who have harm us. For our prayer to be heard, there must be no forgiveness of delay. This is the limitation that God places on us. But this limitation must not become a superstition.
- God does not teach us to forgive everyone unconditionally but to love.
Jesus Christ himself clearly teaches the rule of forgiveness, in doctrinal passages from Matthew 18:15-35 and Luke 17:1-10, which is taken from it.
- After he explains how to deal with someone who harm us and who persists in his sin, Peter asks him how many times he will have to forgive someone who repents but who begins to sin again. In fact, it is clear that it is forbidden to forgive someone who does not repent (he becomes like a stranger whom you no longer even greet), but what to do with someone who repents and begins again?
As God does not tire of forgiving the sinner who repents, we must forgive as many times as is necessary the one who sins against us, repents, then begins again...
It's very clear. The rule of forgiveness which we must apply is the same that God applies with justice towards men. God forgives every man who repents, every man who asks him for forgiveness. This is the rule of forgiveness. We are no greater than God to forgive even those who have no use for our forgiveness and who do not ask for it.
God himself does not forgive those who do not ask for forgiveness and we are no greater than God!
But, asking for forgiveness then starting again to sin against a Christian, asking for forgiveness then starting again to sin against a Christian, asking for forgiveness then starting again to sin against a Christian, that's called tempting God! It is very dangerous to play with the justice of God in such a way. The legal aspect of forgiveness is explicitly revealed in Mat 18:18 and John 20:23
Matthew 18:18 Truly I say to you, Whatever you shall bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven; and whatever you shall loose on earth shall occur, having been loosed in Heaven.
John 20:20-23 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you. As My Father has sent Me, even so I send you. 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 Of whomever sins you remit, they are remitted to them. Of whomever sins you retain, they are retained.
I MUST NOT BE SUPERSTITIOUS BUT SERIOUS AND NOT FORGIVEN LIGHTLY! Because forgiveness is a legal act that engages God himself. If I forgive, God is supposed to forgive too.
Of course, not granting my forgiveness, because the person who harmed me does not repent and ask for my forgiveness, does not mean that I can take revenge! I must leave my justice in the hands of my God!
Romans 12:17-21 Repay no one evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as far as is in you, seeking peace with all men. 19 not avenging yourselves, beloved, but giving place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20 Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirsts, give him drink. For in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
On the other hand, I must not remain indifferent and I must bless the person who offends me! Don't confuse forgiveness with blessing your enemy or not taking revenge!
Matthiew 5:43-48 You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you, 45 so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax-collectors do so? 48 Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.
The devil has played for a long time on the superstition of unlearned and unstable Christians to retain rights over their lives.
Following the Rule of Forgiveness, each of us must:
- either forgive, considering that he obtains reparation through Christ who forgave his sins (who forgives as himself to those who repent)
- or not to forgive, leaving "the procedure for recovering reparations" to the one to whom the revenge and retribution belongs.