Is God’s Forgiveness Conditional?

Is God’s Forgiveness Conditional? February 14, 2024

Jesus says forgive them
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I can’t remember how many articles I have written so far about forgiveness. But I am certain that I have already written many. Much too many in fact!

Perhaps it’s because this is one area where I struggle a lot and writing helps me process my thoughts about it more. Through writing a blog post or even a poem about forgiveness, I can see things from a better perspective.

Why does it hurt so much?

Why couldn’t I just let it go? Where did I go wrong?

These are just some of the questions I struggle with in the process of forgiving someone.

I wanted to understand why something harmful or offensive had to happen in the first place.

And when I can’t, I feel as though I couldn’t just excuse a person without feeling deprived of the justice I deserve.

Why should I always be the one to forgive?

Should I forgive the person who cannot even apologize to me?

At this point, some of the real issues begin to surface.

For one thing, I have this nagging question at the back of my mind: If God requires me to repent and go to confession to be forgiven, why must I forgive the person who refuses to apologize to me?

Here is another question: Does God’s forgiveness depend upon my forgiveness of people who offended me?

After all, that’s what it seems to say in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant and the Lord’s Prayer.

That if we do not forgive our brother, neither will God forgive us of our sins!

Is God’s love conditional?

Is His mercy limited?

But that cannot be. We know that God is Love Himself. He is Mercy Himself!

So whatever may be lacking could only stem from my lack of understanding about God.

I must admit that even this truth cannot immediately take away my feelings of hurt or injustice. I may still struggle with letting go and letting God take care of everything. But let this be the start of the process of forgiving the people who offended me.

Here are some other truths that could also help you in the process of forgiving someone:

1. In the parable of the unforgiving servant, we must remember that the Master of the servant was the one who forgave him first!

The Master did not say that only after you forgive everyone will I forgive you. The Master forgave him of his debts at once when he asked.

This act of generosity and compassion should have been received with gratitude and joy by the servant. And his thankful heart should have overflowed also with compassion for his brother in need.

What kind of Master would he be if he allowed his servant to bully others in debt when he himself has already been forgiven much?

2. Jesus prayed for the forgiveness of sinners without the need for repentance on their part.

God does not forgive us only when we ask Him to. He has already offered that forgiveness to all even before we could even ask!

But how can we receive that forgiveness if we harbor resentment and ill will for our brothers and sisters?

If we do not forgive as God has forgiven us, we will live as though we have not been forgiven at all.

Final Thoughts

Despite all these realizations, I know that I would still struggle with forgiving people who offended me. This is especially true if my loved ones have been hurt and harmed!

But I pray that God may grant me the grace to forgive and surrender everything to Him. May I always remember that God is both justice and mercy. His love, power and compassion for me are limitless. Why should I seek my healing from those who could never give it to me? Let me seek all these things from Him who alone can give me happiness, healing and peace.

Jocelyn Soriano writes about relationships and the Catholic faith at Single Catholic Writer. She is the author of 366 Days of Compassion, To Love an Invisible God and Mend My Broken Heart.

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About Jocelyn Soriano
Jocelyn Soriano is an author, poet, and book reviewer. She is an introvert who enjoys a cup of coffee and listening to the cello ****** while working.

She wrote the books To Love an Invisible God, Defending My Catholic Faith and Mend My Broken Heart. She also wrote books on poetry including Poems of Love and Letting Go and Of Waves and Butterflies: Poems on Grief. She has published more than 15 books and developed her own Android applications including God’s Promises and Catholic Answers and Apologetics.

She writes about relationships and common questions about God and the Catholic faith at Single Catholic Writer. She is currently single and happy and she would like everyone to know how happy we can be by drawing close to the love of God!

You can read more about the author here.

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