One of my favorite TV action dramas, NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service), investigates crimes involving the Navy and Marine Corps. The mix of humorous elements, ensemble acting and character-driven plots has me hooked, and Mark Harmon is not bad to look at either. During last evening’s episode, one character burdened with anger, hatred and bitterness over the wrongful death of a sibling asks, “Why do you insist on forgiving those who should be punished?” WOW, that loaded question keeps replaying in my mind and it leads to these questions, is forgiveness conditional? Is it our right to withhold forgiveness, particularly if the offense is especially hurtful? Will we find peace in punishing the offender? According to C.S. Lewis, to be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. Forgiveness is a choice, not to justify or explain away the wrong, but to give what is needed out of mercy and regain a sense of peace. (Ephesians 4:31-32, Luke 6:36, Matthew 6:14-15) Neil Anderson wrote, “If you don’t let offenders off your hook, you are hooked to them and the past, and that just means continued pain for you.” Are we willing to let ‘em off the hook?