I am working my way through "Prodigal God" and I am reminded that I am thankful for the "Fathers" and "neighbors" in my life.
I am thankful for those who welcome me back, who rejoice at my homecoming.
I am also increasingly aware of those who resent the grace extended - I am aware of the "older brother". Those who will not ony "not forgive", but also resent the forgiveness extended by the Father.
There was a time when I was the "older brother" - that was a lead up in my life to a time when I could be either the "older brother" from the parable, or I could choose to be the "right" older brother - the one who welcomed the younger back.
There are many people who are not ready to restore. Restore! That is the point of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not a hoop to jump through in order to get God's favor. Following God's pattern for forgiveness is the way that we show that we are forgiven. So much so that Scripture tells us that if we do not forgive, God will not forgive us.
Forgiveness is a witness to the world that we are forgiven. And if there are debts that we are holding, it is those sort of debts that will be held against us.