Grace, it’s a hard thing to wrap my head around sometimes and even harder to explain, but my Bible Study teacher explained it this way and I keep thinking it over in my head.
If your friend steals the necklace your grandmother passed down to you, you would be pretty upset.
If your friend keeps the necklace, you are out a family treasure.
If your friend gives back the necklace, then your friend is out a necklace.
And either way, the friendship is hurt. Somebody is paying for it regardless.
But that’s the difference with God. When we ask for forgiveness, He simply says it is good. He doesn’t ask for anything in return. Jesus paid for all of our sins while we’re not paying for anything, that’s grace.