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The spirit of forgiveness is the blessing of a spiritual characteristic that permeates the Lord Jesus. He won’t forgive if one does not ask and does not submit to His authority as revealed in the New Testament. But if one does, forgiveness flows freely. There is no “have to” with the Lord, but there is always a “want to.” “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4, ESV). With some, however, they will not forgive unless compelled to do so. Imagine the Lord thinking and operating in such a shallow immature way! Those who are this way can be sure that as they applied their standard to others, it will be applied to them. In Matthew 7:1-5, in relation to interpersonal connections, the Lord condemns hypocrisy; the one who “forgives” because of a compelling reason (but does not forget and maintains a continued separation), those who think and operate this way are judged by the Lord. “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive, that your Father in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11.25-26). “I will forgive because I have to” means one has not forgiven.