Christian Life
Comments 28

6 Reasons why you should forgive people who are not sorry.

Recently, I was speaking about the power of forgiveness at a meeting and there a young woman two or three rows from the front. I could tell that she had something on her mind. She seemed a bit anxious.

Apparently, she didn’t want to interrupt or draw attention to herself. But I could sense that she was struggling very hard to ignore the urge to ask a question.

Finally she gave in, and with a raised hand, she asked, “but what if they are not sorry for what they did?” I thanked her for the question and assured her that I would address the question in the next session. However, I took some time to counsel with her after the meeting because she was obviously looking for an answer to deal with a pressing need.

 The following is a summary of what I told her and later shared with the group:

Forgiving someone who doesn’t see the need to ask for forgiveness or show any sign that they are sorry for what they’ve done wrong is very difficult. As long as you keep the focus on the offender and the offense, you are never going to get over it. Consequently, they will continue to hurt you no matter what.

Forgiveness is not about the one who hurt you – it’s about you. It’s about how you deal with the situation. It’s about you choosing to live without that hurt for the rest of your life. It’s about you finding the freedom you deserve. They may not deserve your forgiveness, but you deserve better.

Therefore, it is better to forgive than to descend into bitterness and have ones entire life affected by that choice. You cannot afford to give anyone that kind of power over you, your well-being and your future. By the way, revenge doesn’t help the situation, it makes it worse.

Here are six reasons you should forgive even if the offender never asks for it:

It frees you

There is freedom in forgiveness but bondage in un-forgiveness. You set yourself free by setting others free. Through forgiveness, you are able to love and trust again.

It stops them from affecting the rest of your life 

What you are doing through un-forgiveness is giving a person the power to continue hurting you. Forgiveness breaks that power. It allow to step out of their grip and into that of a loving God.

It speaks volumes of your strength, character and faith

Some things are meant to break and destroy you. But you are stronger than you think. You can do all things through Him who gives you the strength.

It keeps your heart where God wants it

God wants you to know He will fight for, that He will bring you justice. So you need to leave room in your heart for Him to deal with the situation.

It slams the door in Satan’s face

Do everything in your power to never open the door to Satan. Trust me, if you give him a foothold into your life through un-forgiveness, he will take full advantage of it.

It brings glory to God

When we obey The Lord in the most difficult times in our lives, we bring immense joy and honor to Him. During those times, people take notice also and glorify The Lord for your obedience.

I confess, it is a difficult thing to ask anyone who’s been hurt to forgive – especially if the offender doesn’t see the need to ask for it. I still recommend forgiveness – for I am fully convinced of its power.

I prayerfully challenge you today to try it.

This entry was posted in: Christian Life


There are three things I think about every moment of everyday... they consume me deeply. How to: 1. Refine my theological understanding 2. sharpen my ethical rigor 3. and heighten my devotional intensity. These are the things I write about. Welcome you to my blog... Join me on this incredible journey of exploration and discovery of all the things God has in store for His children. Join by following or subscribing. I appreciate your thoughts, comments and friendship. Walter


  1. I think you’ve missed the mark here; we have to be willing to forgive only if a person asks for forgiveness. You reason #6 trumps all else but you’ve misused it. You are right in that “When we obey The Lord in the most difficult times in our lives, we bring immense joy and honor to Him.” But, what does the Lord say about this? Read Luke 17:3-4, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

    Do you see? We are to forgive ONLY if he repents! If he is not sorry, then we don’t forgive. God does not forgive an unrepentant person and He doesn’t ask us to either.


    • Hi Frank,
      Thanks a million for your observations on Luke 17:3-4. It is very hard to not notice the “IF” in that verse.

      I was warned many years ago to be careful of lifting one word, one verse out of its context. I think a careful look at the verse(s) in its context, immediate, and other references will reveal other issues pertinent to the subject of forgiveness.

      I may be wrong, but I think the lesson of Luke 17:3-4 is about the extraordinary length we are called to go when it comes to extending forgiveness to others. I understand how difficult that is. The disciples in verse 5 of that same chapter immediate asked for increased faith to actually take their forgiveness to that other level Jesus was talking about. By the way, I don’t think the person sinning against me 7 or more times in the same day is demonstrating any kind of fruit of repentance. So the emphasis is not on whether he repents or asks for forgiveness, it is actually on the extend to which I am willing to forgive.

      But lets go deeper – Unconditional Forgiveness:

      Luke 23:34 – Jesus cried out from the cross, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
      Acts 7:60 – We find Stephen asking God to forgive those who were stoning him.

      Those crucifying Jesus and those hurling insults at him around the cross didn’t ask for forgiveness. Those stoning Stephen did not ask for forgiveness. Yet in both cases forgiveness is UNCONDITIONALLY GIVEN.

      I don’t know how turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, giving a cloak if a tunic is wrongfully taken fit in all of this, but waiting until we are asked for forgiveness may mean we never get the opportunity to give it.

      Stay bless brother!
      After all is said and done – I stand to be corrected.


      • Hi Walter, thanks for your response; it gave me something to think about. Let me make a couple more observations. You mentioned Luke 23:34 and Acts 7:60, and while these two verses seem to be an argument in your favor, neither one mentions two things: 1) if Jesus and Stephen themselves actually forgave them and 2) if God actually forgave them. Granted, we can make a strong assumption that all three did in fact forgive the transgressors, but we can’t say that for sure.

        Secondly, we are told to forgive as God forgave us:

        Ephesians 4:32: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
        Colossians 3:13: Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

        But, again, God only forgives when we go to Him, repent and ask for forgiveness.

        I’m not planting my flag on this mountain and claiming it, I’m simply pointing out some, what I think, good arguments against unconditional forgiveness. I will happily go your way if I read something in the Bible that makes me understand the above verses in a different way.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Frank,
          I like your observations… I confess, you make some really good points.

          I hope others could weight in on the discussion.

          Could you look at Luke 6:35 with me. here is my take:

          I think Jesus is fulfilling his own teaching about loving one’s enemies (Luke 6:35) in His prayer in Luke 23:34 where He prayed for His enemies.

          Here is what Luke 5:35 says:
          Vesrse 35: “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
          Verse 36: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

          Here are few things I see in these verses:
          1. Unconditional love
          2. Do good and lend to them
          3. Expect nothing in return
          4. Your reward will be great
          5. You will be called sons of God
          6. God is kind to the ungrateful and evil
          7. Therefore, be like Him, be merciful

          What can I expect from my enemies? Nothing! No ‘I am sorry,’ no regrets, no remorse, no cease fire. Nothing!

          Yet God tells me to forgive them, love them and bless them. Even if they do not ask for it or desire it.

          this is what I understand – but again, I may still be missing something.

          So, I welcome your thoughts.

          I understand, that sinners need to repent to in order to be forgiven. That’s how it will always be.
          But think about it – “while we were yet sinners Christ died for our sins (Rom. 5:8). God demonstrated His love for us that way.
          That doesn’t automatically save sinners. Sinners need to repent.
          But think about it. We didn’t ask for it, yet he gave it. That is the true meaning of forgiveness… that is what he means by “forgiving each other as Christ forgave you.” We did not ask for it, we did not deserve it, but he gave it anyway.

          Matthew 5:43-48
          “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

          Stay blessed,


        • Mark 2:5 (KJV) When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
          Frank, I like your observation. However, when you said “God only forgives when we go to him, repent and ask for forgiveness” the passage above amongst others came to mind and I found it difficult to reconcile what you said with Mark 2:5.
          Jesus only saw the faith of the sick guy friends not even him and Jesus said “Son thy sins are forgiven” without the young saying a word.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Frank, I like your observations. However, you said that God only forgives when we go to him, repent and ask for forgive
          Mark 2:5 (KJV) When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
          This passage amongst others came to mind. And I found it difficult to reconcile what you said with it.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Planting Potatoes says

    very good post brother Walter….thanks so much for sharing it! Much glory to God indeed! I often think of Joseph and the amazing character that he had that ultimately led to much glory for God!


  3. Joseph says

    This message has made my day. I have been struggling to make up my mind to forgive someone that did something wrong and did not show any sign of remorse. Reading this message has helped me out.


    • And you just made my day! I am so glad to hear that. I rejoice with you greatly. I pray that God will release freedom in a powerful way in your life. Thank you for this awesome feedback.


  4. narcisa73 says

    It took me 2 years to forgive someone who hurt me. During these years I could not see the person and I met him almost every day! But as soon as I decided to forgive him and apologized for my part in the fight, I was free 🙂


  5. Reblogged this on A Christian Warrior and commented:
    Forgiveness is not about the one who hurt you – it’s about you. It’s about how you deal with the situation. It’s about you choosing to live without that hurt for the rest of your life. It’s about you finding the freedom you deserve. They may not deserve your forgiveness, but you deserve better.
    This is for my family who struggle with this.


  6. There is great difficulty, and yet even greater peace, gained by forgiving the absence of apology. Not just in the act of forgiving the original offense.


      • Hey Walter doing alright here. New year, new attitude. Working to take better care of myself and appreciate all things more than I have been doing. God is good. Again, really enjoyed this one. Hope things are good your way!


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