Forgiving someone who hurts you “deeply,” is one of the most difficult things for a person to do. The criteria for forgiveness is to love the person but hate the act. The two have to be separated and how is that possible, when the act was caused by the person? Some people think that if they are forgiven, what they did is forgotten and it wasn’t that bad of an “act” after all, then they do it again.
Taking the example of a man beating his wife; he beats her “badly.” She heals. He tells her he is sorry. She loves him, so she forgives him. But, can she forget? Only God knows? Maybe she can forgive and forget. . . . until he does it again, and again, and again. The cycle continues. The forgiveness he receives from his wife every single time takes away his guilt but he feels no remorse because he does it again. There is no punishment or consequences for his actions, so why should he stop beating his wife? The abuse usually stops when the police are called in. Now there is a reason to stop because he doesn’t want to be punished for his actions.
The punishment fits the crime!
You do something bad, you pay the price! Remember Eve? “Do not eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge!” She did something bad (disobeyed God) and we “all” paid the price. We lost everything that was good and inherited all that is bad! The punishment is called hell. If we say we’re sorry only because we don’t want to be punished, it means nothing. Especially if you continue committing the act. Saying sorry with repentance in our hearts, never wanting to repeat the sinful act and wanting to make amends because it pleases God, will bring us forgiveness. This will help us to get to heaven.