…And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
There are two important truths in today’s passage: I need to ask forgiveness for my sins, and I need to forgive others when they sin against me. The first is easier than the second.
As a believer, Jesus paid the penalty of my sin in full. He bore my sin in his body on the cross. Because of Jesus, the heavenly Father declared me, “Not guilty!” The penalty of sin is gone, however, the propensity to sin remains. I am still tempted and give in to sin. When I do fail, I need to confess my sins knowing that God is “faithful and just to forgive [my] sins and to cleanse [me] from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Owning up to my sin and confessing it is not always easy, but the second part of this truth is even harder. When I ask God to forgive me, I come as one who has, by his grace, forgiven others. I should forgive others just as God, through Jesus, has forgiven me (Eph. 4:32). Think of the contradiction: “God, I want you to forgive me for sinning against you, but I will not forgive the person who has sinned against me.” Forgiveness is a two-way street.
Father, it is so hard to forgive some people for the pain they have caused. I want to hold out on my pardon. I see the contradiction when I want your forgiveness, but I am unwilling to forgive others. I cannot do this on my own. Give me your strength, grace, and mercy to forgive those who have sinned against me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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