And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12, CSB)
This is a dangerous prayer if you don’t understand it. It is easy to ask for the first and assume the second. We should not ask for Christ’s forgiveness without fulfilling the second part of the verse, “as we also have forgiven our debtors.” The implication of this verse is that we have no right to seek forgiveness if we are unwilling to forgive others. Do you need to forgive anyone today?
Pride keeps us from healthy, Christ-centered relationships. Either some do not think they should seek reconciliation because they are not to blame, or the offended reject reconciliation because the offense is too great. Both attitudes are displeasing to God and resemble the lives of pagans, rather than the lives of Christ followers.
We should forgive others simply because Christ forgave us. In Ephesians 4:31-32, Paul writes: Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. We may point out here two applications regarding forgiveness. First, an unforgiving heart is unacceptable. Second, whatever someone has done to you, it pales in comparison next to the forgiveness you found in Christ Jesus.
So let us pray today that Christ would forgive us, as we forgive others. May we seek sweet communion with the Father. Perhaps you are afraid of approaching God. Be encouraged today from the author of Hebrews: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Our Savior is gracious. Our savior is approachable. Our Savior forgives. Based upon who He is, not who we are, we may approach Him with boldness. Seek Him today and find forgiving mercy, as you forgive others.
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Is there something in your life that you need to confess to God? I would urge you to lay it down at His feet today. Here are some helpful truths from scripture to consider as you pray through this part of the disciples model prayer.
Acknowledge sin: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1:9)
Forsake sin: The one who conceals his sin will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
Release others from sin: For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses. (Matthew 6:14-15)