“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:9-13
One can argue that the true Lord’s prayer is located in John 17, but the model Jesus uses from the Sermon on the Mount is a great one as well. To me, what sticks out the most here is the comment on forgiveness. What a simple, yet strong, charge!
How can we expect Christ to forgive all we’ve done if we continue to hold a resentment against another? We are all sinners saved by grace. As I’ve mentioned before, your sin is no greater than mine, or vice versa. The genocidal maniac is as much a sinner in God’s eyes as the woman who told a white lie at work. In the next two verses Jesus tells us “if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” This seems rather clear, does it not?
Every time I read the gospels I wonder how Jesus could “keep his cool,” knowing what was about to take place. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Judas, for example, would betray him. He knew that his own people would reject him in Nazareth. He knew that the Jewish leaders would try to have him killed, and that the Romans would fulfill that promise.
What was his response? “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…
Perhaps you are thinking, “Well, that’s the Son of God! I’m not as powerful as him.” That’s true in part, but don’t underestimate the power you have. Once converted, you are cleansed from your past and the process of sanctification begins. This means you are set apart for God’s work as He conforms you to the image of Christ.
You absolutely have the power to let go of that grudge and set a sinner free from his or her act against you.
In His Name,