John and George, both in their seventies, had been friends since their high school days. They held strong opinions and both were on the stubborn side. Consequently, they argued frequently and, as a result, they often went for weeks without speaking to each other. It got to the point where, after a heated argument on some trivial matter, John and George hadn’t spoken to each other for several months. Then George became critically ill. He summoned John to his hospital bed and said that he wanted to heal their relationship before he died. He took John’s hand in his and whispered, “John, I forgive you. Will you forgive me?” John was deeply moved by his friend’s final gesture, but before he could reply, George bellowed, “But remember, if I don’t die, if I get well again, this doesn’t count!”
When we place conditions on our willingness to forgive, of course it doesn’t count. Limited forgiveness is a contradiction in terms.
Forgiveness counts when…
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