Followers of Jesus learn to forgive people who hurt them. This doesn’t mean they ignore what happened. And it doesn’t mean they put themselves back in harms way. What it does mean is Jesus’ followers have a heart full of forgiveness because of how much forgiveness He poured in to us.
Jesus’ Divine forgiveness can only be understood by experiencing it. Jesus took our sin - all of our sin - into His heart when He was on the cross. And it used every drip and drizzle of forgiveness that He, His Father and the Holy Spirit could muster. His blood washed over planet Earth and the process of making things right began. Everything evil, caused by separation from God, has been given permission - and shown the way - to heal. Every sinner has received a “Paid in Full” notice for their sin debt. Now its all gone, forgiven, washed away. He forgave us. ALL. OUR. SIN.
If we choose to let Him take our place, His complete forgiveness is ours and our little hearts are filled up with forgiveness. And every time we pour a little out, our heart - for Jesus and for His Creation - grows a little. Then, Jesus fills our heart back up to overflowing. Our heart, a little bigger, can hold little bit more forgiveness. And, bit by bit, we become more like Jesus.
Jesus’ kind of forgiveness is a gift that increases as we use it. Because of how much forgiveness He poured out on the Cross, Jesus’ heart is big enough to hold all the forgiveness needed by every person on Earth! And He gives us that forgiveness to share every time we offer to forgive someone else.
Jesus said when we forgive others, God forgives us. Because it proves we have accepted His forgiveness. But, if we refuse to forgive others, we prove we haven’t grasped the next level of how deep and wide His forgiveness is for us. And we are stuck. So, He leaves us there to experience His forgiveness until we are struck with the inadequacy of our generosity of compassion. And our heart grows.
Following Jesus means we are in the business of looking for people who need forgiveness. And when we find them, we forgive them - as He has forgiven us.
Testimonies for the Church 5:170, 171