I think we emphasize forgiveness more than we emphasize repentance. I find that more people do not understand the gift of repentance (Rom. 2:4) that God gives us. Repentance is good.
When an offender repents, there is a total change in thinking that leads to a change in acting. The offender’s repentance demonstrates that they are thinking of others more than they are thinking of themselves. It’s the idea that “I was wrong so I am going to pay you restitution because that is the right thing to do in God’s eyes.”
I firmly believe that the church ought to be emphasizing REPENTANCE as much if not more than they do forgiveness!
Think about it: what if people were repenting more in their relationships and saying, “I’m sorry I wronged you. I plan to make it right. Will you forgive me?” What wonderful marriages, families, churches, and frienships we would all have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What was John the Baptist’s primary message? REPENT.
What was Jesus’ first message in Matthew 4:17 is “REPENT for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”