Question

Are we allowed to forgive someone who has not asked for forgiveness?

Answer

Yes, we must forgive him. As Jesus makes clear in the Sermon on the Mount after providing the Lord’s Prayer, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:14-15). Jesus sets the example on the cross in asking his Father to forgive those who have crucified him. On the other hand, we need not necessarily relate with a person we forgive, especially if the wrongdoing he did to us is grave. And even if someone has repented of a grave offense, we need not necessarily relate with him. For instance, if a woman has been sexually assaulted by a friend, she is morally accepted to forgive that friend but not morally accepted to continue having a friendship.

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