Second-Class Pardon

            "Let him go to his own house…"

            Someone has said that human beings forgive but never forget.

            “How many times shall I forgive my brother?” Asked Peter one day.

            “Seventy times seven,” replied Jesus (Matthew 18:21, 22).

            This phrase indicates at least two great truths: First, our brothers and sisters will occasionally sin against us. It does not matter whether their sins or insults are intentional or unintentional; the fact is that they will fail us (and we will fail them). We are imperfect humans saved by grace and our imperfections get the better of us more often than we want to admit.

            The second truth is that as believers in Christ, we are repeatedly commanded to forgive each other, even if the other person never asks for forgiveness. We cannot control our circumstances, the people who offend us and perhaps not even the great pain we feel. The only things we can control are our attitudes and how we respond to negative people or situations

            To forgive is a divine commandment and we must strive to forgive every offense. David did not want to absolve Absalom completely. His “halfway” forgiveness had no value in God’s eyes because in reality he never pardoned his son, nor did he receive him in his house.

            True forgiveness never holds grudges and does not bring back the past. The “prodigal son” experienced this kind of forgiveness, but not Absalom. It is bad to not  forgive as it is to forgive halfway. God does not accept second-class forgiveness.

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