Is not a requirement!

noun: the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.

It is possible to go through an entire life without knowing forgiveness! That usually means this life never knows either result of the action.

noun. 1. act of forgiving; state of being forgiven. 2. disposition or willingness to forgive.

There are 2 definitions presented here. Both use ‘or’ not ‘and’. I fear this is clear and a mistake. Forgiveness is both at the same time! Where did this ‘God awful idea’ come from? Well, God!

The Lord’s Prayer – Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

and then there is.

Serenity Prayer
O God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time. Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever.
(Reinhold Niebuhr, 1892-1971)

Which has NOTHING to do with forgiveness! It seems to address acceptance instead; BUT always gets confused and co-mingled with forgiveness without even trying.

The Lord’s Prayer, from God, ties both effects together, with an ‘and’. Your request for the Deity to ‘forgive us‘ is tied directly to ‘we forgive‘ with not even a ‘;’ between. God seems to say: ‘Ask for the forgiveness; I will give it to you, unconditionally, but don’t even think of it without your participation. And it will be quantified.’. It can be said that ‘as we forgive those‘ is a promise from us to God but then why is it in the middle of a list of requests?

And now to the main point of contention. I have often hear it said ‘I cannot forgive … because I cannot accept that … and not expect it to happen again.’ Or ‘I cannot forgive … because it will happen again.’ There is a reason why I cannot forgive; it is because I cannot accept.

Let me conclude with a story, and example.

I have a puppy. It is cute. It is noisy. It is messy. I forgive the puppy. I expect the puppy to be all these things. I will not hate the puppy. I will not throw the puppy out and never love it or let it in again. I will not accept the puppy as it is. But it is forgiven for the past. I do not say that I do not expect it to be the same state tomorrow. I do not say that I will forgive the past when I know the future will be different. I prepare for tomorrow and expect tomorrow and hope for tomorrow. I forgive the past, unconditionally! FOR ME not the puppy.