Forgiveness is not a commodity to be passed around "fairly", like cans of beans. God requires that we repent of our rebellions, stupidities and cupidities. The first Christian evangelistic meeting carried the message “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.". The modern evangelical Rev. Feelgood messages appear to remove most responsibility from us, beyond "slipping your hand up" and "praying this prayer". When Columbine happened, the next day school was in session a "We forgive you" type banner was up in the commons. Now, I recognise that a sentiment like that feels good, and in a sense will aid in not building up bitterness, but there is that other side of forgiveness.
Paul writes a peculiar thing in 2 Timothy 4.
Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:
Paul the apostle did not say "but I forgive him". He said " the Lord reward him according to his works".
That falls into the realm of "imprecatory prayer", calling upon the Lord to deal with the bounder. It is a left turn from "forgiveness", leaving any resultant response up to God. King David was a master of this.
This is curious and confusing to me. I was brought up in the greasy grace mode, where you mutter "I forgive you" in an almost warding mode. I am having...difficulty...with this. I am no theological lightweight, but I really want to be clear on this. I don't want to spread around empty feelgood "forgiveness" where it is not called for, but neither do I wish to presume upon grace when the Scripture also says " And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors". This may appear silly, but it is a puzzle, and one which I should like to solve, both for my own satisfaction, and to the satisfaction of my Lord.