Without repentance first there can be no reconciliation, repair, or restoration. This is true first for salvation. We acknowledge that we are sinners, that it was our sins that nailed Jesus to the cross, and that He died to take our place in receiving the Father’s wrath.
Repentance is the first step in reconciliation in broken relationships. A breach in heart connection is reconciled through true heart forgiveness. Without forgiveness our spiritual growth is stunted.
Jesus forgave us while we were still sinners. 1 John 4:9 says, “In this the love of God was manifest toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” Verse 11 says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 3:13 says that we are to forgive AS we have been forgiven. How were we forgiven? Totally and unequivocally. Therefore He will enable us to forgive those who have hurt us even as they are still sinning against us.
I received the VOM prayer requests for those being persecuted. One prayer for them is: pray that God will strengthen their hearts, causing their love for one another and for their persecutors to increase and overflow.
How much more so in our own broken relationships. Forgiving those who sin against us is not based on whether or not they ask our forgiveness, but it is based on Jesus’ death, and His forgiving us while we were still in our sin.