Sometimes I just really screw up. As a wife . . as a parent . . as a friend . . as a human being . . I do things that are completely wrong and I hurt others in the process. I am blessed that most often, those that I've hurt are gracious to forgive me. I rarely deserve it.
But sometimes, the "OK, I forgive you" is less than genuine. Forgiveness is clearly not there yet. I suppose I should understand -- sometimes it just takes time. But there's not much that feels more devastating than to be so repentant of a wrong but powerless to fix the situation. You've done all you can -- they have to bridge the rest of the gap. The status of the relationship is now in the other's hands. And they may not hold that relationship in much esteem anymore.
Jesus said that if we forgive others, we will be forgiven; if we refuse to forgive others, we won't be forgiven either. That statement always troubled me a bit. It sounds like he's saying God's forgiveness is dependent on our doing good, which contradicts the rest of scripture. But maybe that's not it.
Maybe it's that a failure to forgive shows a pride in self and an apathy for the relationship. It says that I am of such importance that your slight to me has no remedy. That I would rather sacrifice my relationship with you than think less of myself -- or think of myself less. It says that you are not worth risking the chance of getting hurt again. Maybe when one is that care-less about relationships with other flesh-and-blood humans, one is not capable of giving the appropriate value to a relationship with God. I mean, to approach the Almighty Creator of the universe with that kind of pride means you really don't know who you're dealing with here. And you can't have a relationship with someone you don't know.
There's only so much one person can do to build a relationship -- the other has to meet them part of the way. I assume the same is true with God? Being God, he goes far, far beyond the halfway point to meet us. But if there's nothing given or sacrificed on our end, it's not a relationship. It's . . . something else.
Sorry. This is probably one of those rambling posts that means nothing to anyone else. But it may have connected some dots for me . . .