Christ’s Church is commissioned to carry out the task of offering forgiveness and the retaining of sin (John 20:22-33). Yet, how much healing has not happened because we refuse to forgive? When we retain sins that God has forgiven, we misuse the commission God has given us. We have the great privilege to convey the message of God’s forgiveness to the world, and to be forgiven, we confront and name our sins and the claim and damage that sin has upon our personal and social lives.
I note that this forgiving and retaining of sins is not about us deciding who deserves forgiveness, or who goes to heaven or hell. Rather, it is about us taking the initiative in offering forgiveness with the hope of being reconciled. Reconciliation facilitates peace and harmony. Remember: “Peace be with you, as the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21).