Matthew 6:9-13 9Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name. 10Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors. 13And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Forgive us our debts as we have given up resentment against our debtors. If we are going to ask God to forgive us the way we forgive others we had better make sure that we don’t have any unforgiveness in our hearts. If we look a little further in verses 14-15 it says 14For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [reckless and willful sins, [leaving them, letting them go, and [giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses. If we look up the word forgive we see it means to stop being angry about or resenting somebody; to excuse somebody for a mistake, misunderstanding, wrongdoing or inappropriate behavior; to exonerate, or declare someone not to blame or guilty of wrong-doing. Even if someone has legitimately wronged us, we still have to release them from blame or criticism. We are not responsible for the wrongdoing of others, but we are responsible for how we handle it. We will be held accountable for our actions. We see very clearly that if we forgive others, our Heavenly Father will forgive us, but if we don’t forgive, He can’t forgive us.
Unforgiveness in our hearts can stop the blessings of God in our lives. Not because He doesn’t want to bless us, but because He can’t go against the way He has set things up. Remember what we talked about a few weeks ago in Matthew 5:23-24 23So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you, 24Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift. If we know someone is harboring unforgiveness against us, we are to try to make it right before we come into the presence of God. If we are having a problem forgiving all we have to do is look at our ultimate example- Jesus. In Ephesians 4:32 it says 32And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you. Jesus forgave us for every sin we could ever commit long before we were even born. Because He offers us His forgiveness, we are to follow His example and offer forgiveness to the people in our lives as well. Isn’t that neat?- He forgives us, so we forgive others. Then we ask Him to forgive us the way that we forgive others. It becomes a never-ending circle of grace and love.