Does a person have to repent and ask for forgiveness before you can forgive him?


I trawled through the topics on questions but can't find one that I want to ask.

My sister and I are Christians. She says that she doesn't have to forgive a person unless they come to her and ask for forgiveness. she tells me that nobody got forgiveness from God until they actually went to Him and repented of their sins. I can't agree with her. She says that not everyone is saved, that I agree with, because they didn't go to God and ask for forgiveness. I say that Jesus died for the whole world, regardless of whether they accepted it or not. So she has to forgive the same way, she has to bring the person who has sinned against her and ask God to forgive them. I can't seem to find anything that backs up what I believe and plenty to find for her stance.

I truly believe that we are to love one another, love our neighbor, hold no grudges or anger. I wonder if you can point me in the right direction. I am absolutely convinced that I am right and she is convinced that she is right.


Unconditional Love

You are correct that we are not to hold grudges or anger toward another (Ephesians 4:31-32). But you are mistaken in you can resolve a problem between you another person without their consent and involvement. You have to have an attitude that you want problems solved and that you would be the first to hold out your hand to another, even if they wronged you. But it takes two create a dispute and two to end it, even if one doesn't like the current state of affairs.

I find it interesting that while you can find verses that support your sister's position, and basically none for your own, yet you are certain you are right. It seems foolish to me to hold on to a position that you personally want in spite of the evidence.

You see, if a person is doing something that is wrong, I'll stand oppose to it. But love also demands that I rescue the person, if I can, from their bad decisions. Too many people claim to "love" others while they continue to let them go doing evil because they "forgive" them while they remain in their wickedness. It isn't love and it isn't forgiveness because the problem remains.