God’s grace and forgiveness, while free to the recipient, are always costly for the giver…. From the earliest parts of the Bible, it was understood that God could not forgive without sacrifice. No one who is seriously wronged can “just forgive” the perpetrator…. But when you forgive, that means you absorb the loss and the debt. You bear it yourself. All forgiveness, then, is costly.” ~ Timothy Keller
That’s the thing isn’t it? There’s always a price. The fact that forgiveness is so costly may be why we’re so stingy with it. We cling to our right to not forgive. Forgiving requires conceding the right to revenge or anger; the right to hatred or hurt or self-pity. That’s a lot to give up.
Unforgiveness isn’t free either. Unforgiveness is so tangible you can watch it re-write a person from the inside out. Can we choose not to forgive? Sure. But like a moth clinging to the cloth, in time a tiny hole will appear as the slow process of fraying weakens the very core of the fabric, until only a remnant of what was intended remains.
If God, in His grace, hadn’t extended the extraordinary mercy of forgiveness first, if He didn’t continue to do it daily, it would be too much to ask. But He did and it isn’t.