Close your eyes, and picture yourself as owning a large beautiful home. One room is even more luxurious, and interesting, than the rest. In this room you keep your cash and valuables. Because you want a relationship of trust with others you have no locks on the draws or cupboards.
You like to keep “open house” and have many visitors who are free to wander around as they wish.
One visitor steals from you. When confronted he repents and you forgive him. This doesn’t happen just once. You don’t want him to stay away, nor fit locks on your cupboards (because of the relationship you want with others) so what can you do?
You genuinely forgive him but nevertheless forbid him to enter ‘this room’.
Now think of a woman whose boy friend/husband frequently abuses her when they are alone. Each time he is confronted he repents and she forgives him. The time comes when, although having genuinely forgiven him, she refuses to spend any time with him alone.
Are the ‘offenders’ being punished or ‘reaping what they have sown’?
This principle (Gal. 6:7-8) still operates even when forgiveness is genuine.
Some of Jesus’ Parables in Matthew cannot be understood properly until the above principles are understood.
It has been said “God has no favourites, but some experience the favour of God more than others.” This saying too, will only be understood in the light of the principles of ‘Forgiveness’ and ‘Sowing and Reaping’.