Unforgiveness can be a protective measure. It allows us to “wash our hands” of another so as not to be hurt by them any more. Forgiveness opens the door once again to the possibility of more disappointment, more sorrow, more pain. There are times when we just want to be done with it. Unforgiveness does that. It incarcerates someone at a sufficient distance from us so they can’t go on hurting us.
When God forgives us He involves Himself in risk. He too is grieved and angered over our failure to treat Him as we should. Forgiving us holds no guarantee that we will henceforth give Him the love and honor He deserves. But His love and desire for us is so great that it is longsuffering and willing to forgive us continually, even if it opens the door to more pain for Him.
Who is like this Lord of love? He will also forgive, even seventy times seven. He will let go of the pain of the past and hope for better in the future. But if change is slow in coming, he will forbear in love, he will suffer once again, and he will forgive. In so doing, he will be giving his fellowman fresh access to the same amazing grace and love that causes him to so love and appreciate his God, who each mercy filled morning, lets go of the past, and opens himself to more suffering. How great is our God! How great is His love! His longsuffering toward us is our salvation.