Thoughts often run through my head at a rate of speed, that i cannot keep up with them, now is no different. I'm a few weeks away from getting married, and there is a lot of stuff to do, mostly niggly little things. But in the last few weeks i have been looking at whether forgiveness is unconditional, whether it requires something from us, or whether it is just thrown around like a cheap coat. The Bible does not teach that forgiveness is unconditional, it requires something from us. Many times Jesus said " go and sin no more", the requirement of that is the sinning no more part. It sets a boundary up that we have to do something. Many people get confused with this because i believe Gods love is unconditional according to Romans 5 v 8, and a vast wealth of other verses in the good book. Forgiveness and love are not the same thing, They are different and as much as they can be entwined they do have different ideas behind them.
David and Bathsheba is a great case in point, God forgave David for his killing of Uriah and his adultery with Bathsheba. But the up shot was that the people he led would know of Davids indiscretion, it was not a get out of jail free card, and was never intended to be one. Many years ago a good friend of mine let me down majorly, i was devastated but told him i was going to forgive what he did and that i bore him no malice, but i no longer wanted to see him on a regular basis. The hurt he caused me was very deep, but over the years i have moved on and lived my life. The point is sometimes Christian believe that f we forgive we have to roll over and get trampled on again and again, this is not the case.
Forgiveness has conditions God calls us to turn from our wayward lives. Make Jesus Lord of our lives and walk the narrow path. Forgiveness takes a lot of work, especially for us as we hold onto things for dear life, especially if we have been wronged. It tends to be the hurt we hold onto not the good. There are things we have to do, we have to forgive, we have to accept forgiveness and we have to turn away, from those things that drag us down into sin and stupidity. Forgiveness helps us move forward, helps us grow. We put it into action and let it flow from us. But it's not unconditional, Gods love is unconditional, but forgiveness is not.
The day we stop telling people there is a cost to following Christ, the day we make the Gopsel so watered down it's no better than dirty dish water, is the day we pack up shop, close the doors of our churches and let the people do what they want. There is no problem with calling sin what it is sin. Jesus did it, we can do it. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing, lets not degrade it by making it appear to the masses that we can just carry on as we were, with no remit to change our ways.