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Should I Offer Forgiveness Without Repentance?

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

Unconditional forgiving is the act of canceling a transgression of the law against us by all those who purposefully offend us, regardless of whether they own up to their behavior. Offering redemption without remorse seems in breach of divine forgiveness guidelines. (Luke 17:3,4).

The scriptures say that we are to forgive others as God forgives us (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13). But how does Yahawah forgive us? By simply believing in his son? By talking in tongues? Some people believe they are to be forgiven for their sins for not doing much at all and believe that the laws of Yahawah have been 'done away' with. How do you sin then if sin is the transgression of the law? Anyway, simply put, God forgives us when we repent for transgressing his laws for sin is the transgression of the law (Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3,5, Acts 3:19) And not those who are stiff-necked and refuse to repent.

We must recognize our sin and repent to gain and enjoy Yahawah’s merciful forgiveness. Yahawah requires repentance, and so must we. Repentance is essential because it’s a person’s only hope for an actual change (Matthew 18:3; Acts 26:20). If we don’t admit our sin, it’s not possible to be transformed. Much in the same way that an alcoholic's first steps to recovery admit that they are an alcoholic. Denial of one's problems causes millions to repeat the cycle of offense sometimes for the duration of their lives.

If we aren’t keenly conscious of the sinful (transgressing YHWH's laws) direction, our lives are going, like many do with confidence, also trying to convince others that there are no longer any laws to abide by to keep us from sin, then we will no longer see or want to alter the direction which leads only to death.

True repentance shows that we want Yahawah to help us alternate our thinking, attitudes, and behavior. When someone truly repents to us for forgiveness, we usually feel if they will change their thinking, attitudes, and behavior as well, or at least try to.

An unrepentant person keeps a feel of control over his lifestyle through pride, which can lead to destruction, violence, and animosity in the end, although many aren't aware of this until it is too late. (Proverbs 8:13; 16:18; 29:23).

Turning toward Yahawah (repentance) is vital to ruin the cycle of damaging behaviors and patterns of touching on to others. If as believers we don’t require repentance by the offender, we stand in the way of that person’s coming to see his need for Yahawah and experiencing His forgiveness. To put it simply, forgiveness is a two-way process: repentance on the section of the culprit and pardon by the offended.

Instead of giving in to revenge, which can be the path we take if we are not forgiving, we can soften our hearts towards those who have to harm us. We can love our brothers and sisters who transgress against us but haven't repented or sought forgiveness but still continue to have an unsettled problem with them. In actuality, it is just as loving, if not more so loving, to withhold complete forgiveness until a change of heart by the offender is apparent.

Just as important, we can have a belief that YHWH will avenge if it is righteous judgment (Leviticus 19:18, Romans 12:19-21) and that He will hold all of us accountable (Romans 14:12; Hebrews 4:13 ). We don’t need to fear because our pain doesn’t go unnoted with the aid of YHWH (Psalm 147:3). With that frame of mind, we can display a deeper faith in YHWH's justice system without feeling the need to take things into our own hands and even be led to pray for those who have transgressed against us.

Yes, an unconditional pardon can be granted without the wrongdoer ever knowing they’ve harmed us which to some extent is good for us so that we don't carry any negativity and grudges, but this one-sided “forgiveness” is no longer in our fantastic interest, nor in the quality interest of the character who hurt us. It devalues the magnitude of repentance and robs both the perpetrator and us of the chance to develop in the Massiah.

The remaining reason for forgiveness is the recovery of a relationship. This restoration happens only when the offender repents and demonstrates remorse and the offended one offers a pardon and demonstrates loving acceptance.