There is a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. A relationship can only be restored when there is honesty on both parts. We can offer forgiveness to people who have harmed us, but if they do not acknowledge a need to be forgiven, the relationship is not healed. The same goes for the forgiveness God offers us. If we do not admit our need for forgiveness and insist on a no-fault clause in our settlement, there is no actual reconciliation. Our hearts will remain unchanged. Peace is the result of an honest response to God’s mercy.
Wash me and I will be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7b)