January 24

Written by Bill Grandi on January 24th, 2024

I’ve been thinking…about forgiveness.

Forgiveness is an important aspect of everyone’s life, whether one is a Christ-follower or not. It comes into play seemingly in about every relationship we have. For the Christ-follower is it important to know we have God’s forgiveness. On the human side, it is important for us to either forgive or be forgiven.

One vitally necessary component of forgiveness with God or with another person is knowing unconditional forgiveness. None of us want to hear, “I’ll forgive you if…” We certainly feel unloved or, at best incompletely loved, if say a spouse says to a partner, “I’ll forgive you for the affair if…” or a father says to a child, “I’ll forgive you for the breach of conduct or break of trust if…” How disheartening that is! Why? Because that type of forgiveness has strings attached to it.

The story of the prodigal son is unusual because it is not the father who puts the conditions on the relationship, but the son. Check out the story in Luke 15. The son says, “I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned and am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as your hired servant.'” (Verses 18-19). Basically, the son says, “If I do this and this then…If I show adequate repentance, become a servant then maybe my dad will forgive me.” It wasn’t the father but the son who put conditions on his love and acceptance. And what happens? The son doesn’t even get out his whole spiel before the father is bending over backwards to forgive and welcome him home and basically say, “My son! Welcome home!”

Do you see it? The father (God) is not the one with the conditions.  It is the son who hamstrung himself. How many times have we not seen and accepted God’s complete and absolute forgiveness because we don’t think we are good enough or done enough or repented sufficiently enough or been sorry enough? It’s not God; it’s us!

Stop putting conditions on God’s love and acceptance of you. Instead, bask in the glow of unconditional love and forgiveness.  Thinking done. 🙂


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Such a great example for us all, Bill. We do need to realize that God is waiting for us to return to Him with repentance, no strings attached. Such a powerful image!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It is Martha. That image hit me last night so I had to sit down and write this. Thanks.

  2. Glynn says:

    Just three days ago, I was reading the story of Joseph in Genesis. I’d read it hundreds of times before, but this time walloped me. It was God-inspired forgiveness.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Great example Glynn! And yes it was. To forgive as he did his brothers and then for them to be fearful. The conditions were on them not Joseph and he showed it.

  3. gail says:

    Great point Bill, as the Father forgives us, and considers our confession of sin enough, we should also extend that same grace to others, and be like the prodigal son’s father, or like Joseph. Forgiven and done.

  4. Ed says:

    Our Fathers forgiveness of our sins has always had an impact on me. Absolutely no hidden or added agenda, and it’s followed by love, also lead by love.
    Great post Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Ed. I totally agree that it is good the Father has no hidden agenda or added agenda. Makes it all the more appealing.