In scenario #2, the BROTHER or SISTER in Christ repents. So what do we do now?
Simply, forgive them. Grant them the gift of forgiveness, which is a promise not to bring it up to 1) yourself, 2) bring it up to the offender, and 3) bring it up to a third, uninvolved party.
If you do NOT forgive them, then you are acting like a “spiritual terrorist.” You are terrorizing the other party with your lack of forgiveness and God will deal with your sinful heart attitude!!!
God says in Isaiah that He will remember our sins no more and that’s what we are to do – be active in not “bringing it up” (or remembering it) to ourselves repeatedly.
We may not ever “forget” that it happened but we have to choose to replace the thoughts of bitterness/hurt with thoughts of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a PROMISE to remember the offense “no more” and to relieve the offender from having to pay retribution.
When we forgive, we promise to not bring exact retribution for the offense. We relinquish our “rights” for exact retribution, we are acting like Christ Who forgave us. On the cross, He took our penalty for sins upon Himself as God is just and punishes sin.
No sin goes unpunished by a just God! That’s why Christ gave His life at Calvary and shed His righteous blood!
We are to point people to Christ through every conflict and sinful situation that arises. We cannot and should not act like sin is “no big deal” by overlooking it (Luke 17:3a) NOR should we hang on to sin after someone has repented from it as though we are greater than God. If God forgives them in Christ, then we must forgive them in Christ – no matter what the particular sin was!
-Mark (grateful for Christ because in Him we learn how to relate to others)