Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13 NIV)
In our study of the Lord's Prayer, thus far we have come to see God as our Heavenly Father, who is Holy and deserves our worship. We have also recognized that we are part of the Kingdom of God and that we choose to do His will and trust Him to take care of us. Today, we look at forgiveness.
“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." When we pray this line, we are asking God to forgive us exactly in the same way as we forgive those who have hurt us. In other words, if we are harboring unforgiveness in our hearts towards others as we say this prayer, we are hindering God's forgiveness for ourselves.
The more someone has hurt us, the harder it is to forgive them. Yet forgiveness also brings great joy, not only to the forgiven but especially to the forgiver. The Greek term for “forgiveness” (aphiemi) comes from a word that means “to let go.” Forgiveness is a release, a letting go of self-destructive feelings like anger, bitterness, and revenge.
Those who are truly forgiven, truly forgive.
The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.
To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. - C.S. Lewis