God’s forgiveness is good news because it is from a position of unconditional love. It is not a choice we have. It simply is ours whether we like it or not. David Lose, in a commentary he wrote about 10 years ago, tells the story of a dad who shared with him that his son, angry because he was being made to go to bed, said to his dad, “I hate you.” To which the dad replied, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but I love you.”
That pronouncement infuriated the boy, who said, “no you don’t! Don’t say that!”
“Yes, I’m afraid I do son, I love you.”
The debate evidently went on for a very long time until the dad finally said, “Look, stop fighting me on this. I love you, like it or not.”
God’s love is rather like that. It is ours, not because we deserve it or can earn it, neither because we have asked for it, or demanded it, and even when we don’t even want it; it is ours simply because he gives it to us, whether we like it or not. And when we don’t, it is for us a really obnoxious grace.