When we try to understand this merciful God we worship, it is easy to put our human limitations on Him. We can’t help but think that He thinks as we do when it comes to this business of forgiveness. We convince ourselves that He keeps a running list of our sins and that after so many mistakes, His compassion must surely waiver. We can offer forgiveness to others, but we think our own sins somehow don’t warrant the same mercy. And we tell ourselves that God’s kindness is conditional somehow: He will forgive us if… He will forgive us when…
What we fail to remember, or maybe can’t even comprehend, is that this all-powerful, unconditional God isn’t wired the way we are. His mercy is not conditional, not quantifiable, and not discriminatory, it is always and forever there for the asking. No strings attached, no time needing to pass, no parameters to be met. The only thing He requires is that we are truly sorry, and that we try, with sincerity of heart, to do things differently the next time around.
If there were ever any doubt of this, we need only look to the sacrifice He made as we raise our eyes to the cross. God delivered His only and most precious Son for the redemption of all of humanity. To witness the suffering of Jesus must have been nearly unbearable, nearly too difficult to withstand. And yet, our all-knowing, always-loving Creator knew that the sins of the world were resting on the shoulders of Jesus, hanging heavy on that cross.
So in God’s eyes, His mercy is never conditional, it knows no bounds. Our debt has been paid. We ask and then receive. His forgiveness is immediate.