Forgiveness Mirrors God.

Yet even when offenders are unrepentant, we can and should forgive.  There are better ways to protect ourselves than the refusal to forgive.  And when it comes to reminding offenders that they’ve committed the offense, we do that precisely by forgiving.  Recall that to forgive is to blame.  We do condemn when we forgive.  We do it gently and lovingly, but we still do it.

There’s no question that it is more difficult to forgive when offenders refuse to repent.  Their lack of repentance is, in a sense, a continuation of their offense in a different form.  But the forgiveness is unconditional….  It’s predicated on nothing perpetrators do or fail to do.  Forgiveness is not a reaction to something else.  It is the beginning of something new….

Forgiving the unrepentant is not an optional extra in the Christian way of life; it’s the heart of the thing.  Why?  Because God is such a forgiver and Christ forgave in such a way.  And you know what?  We also bear the burden of forgiveness because when we are forgivers we are restored to our full human splendor.  We were created to mirror God.  Anything less is really Judas’ kiss on our own cheek, a betrayal of ourselves by ourselves.

— Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge, p. 208-209

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