In Luke 6:37 Jesus says, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” Some people believe that forgiving also means reconciling. But, it doesn’t.
From the time we first meet Absalom as an adult, in 2 Samuel, he begins scheming to overthrow his father. He murders his brother, Amnon, who happens to be ahead of him in the line of succession. David, a shrewd king, must have at least suspected Absalom’s motives, forgave him anyway, allowing him, to return home. But Absalom was not in the mood for reconciliation because he soon started a political campaign designed to discredit David and glorify himself. David must have understood Absalom’s duplicity, but still granted him permission to go to Hebron, the place where David first ruled as king, under the false pretense of serving God. Absalom’s betrayal became complete when he declared himself king, took Jerusalem and in a final humiliation, took possession of David’s concubines. Despite all that, on the day of the final battle David gave the order to his commanders to be gentle with the young man. When Absalom was killed anyway, David’s grief nearly demoralized his entire kingdom.
1. Reconciliation is important when possible.
Mat 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Mat 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
2. God gives a formula for how to try and get reconciled in Mat 18:15-20
Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
3. While Reconciliation is desirable it is sometimes impossible. One party might be dead or, as in David’s case, unsafe. Reconciliation takes two and it’s a long process that both parties must commit to. Forgiveness, on the other hand, takes only one. It’s wholly within the power of the forgiver. And, that's good because forgiveness isn't optional. In Mark 11:26, Jesus tells us: "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
4. Forgiveness also doesn’t mean approval. My son believed that. Y9u can forgive someone and not trust them. Forgiveness is an internal matter. It’s letting go of hostility,
Luk 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
We all want to be forgiven. To do so we might have to apologize. But forgiveness may not come from other humans. In David’s case, for example.
Remember that God will always forgive us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.