It is only until we learn that we have made a mistake are we truly forgiven but until then, we shall continue repeating the same mistake over and over again and getting the same bad result or feelings over and over again till we learn our lesson or end up in a catastrophe.
But no one is above mistakes, because mistakes are necessary for growth but it is only when we have fully realized the consequences of our mistakes can it be said we have learnt the lesson necessary for growth.
Sometimes in order for us to learn the lesson if we have not, something drastic has to be done,, E.g. a parent would flog his/her child out of love so as to learn from a mistake which maybe the child keeps on repeating after repeated warnings. The flogging makes the child realise his/her mistakes and to learn (For it is said in Proverbs 13:24 “spare the rod and spoil the child”). Even in society punishment are meted to persons so they learn and God who is our heavenly Father sometimes uses this same principle to make us learn.
So what about forgiveness? Forgiveness comes about when we have learnt the lesson and are now truly remorseful of the consequences of our mistakes and if we ask for forgiveness, by first forgiving ourselves, only then can we be truly forgiven by others.
Forgiveness wipes the slate clean for a fresh start towards progress and even if we falter because of habitual practice of the mistake, our remorse, forgiveness and the love of God and man, will continue wiping the slate clean, giving us a fresh start each time, till we are finally clean towards progress and wisdom.