“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Matthew 6:12 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s blog post topic is forgiveness. It isn’t only forgiveness, but the sentence of the Lord’s Prayer in which Jesus tells us to forgive others. How many times have you said the Lord’s Prayer and then not forgiven someone? I think that asking for forgiveness and giving forgiveness are often difficult for people.
I think some people have a misconception about forgiveness. They might think that forgiveness condones the action, encourages the action, or some how makes the action okay. They might think that forgiveness means that everything will go back to the way it was before the action. That isn’t necessarily true either. Actions have logical consequences whether we forgive others or not. For example, if someone steals from you, you can forgive him or her, but that doesn’t mean that you will instantly trust him or her as if they have never stolen before. That trust will probably have to be earned. To me, the forgiveness is separate.
What does forgiveness mean to you? To me, forgiveness means that you release yourself from the feelings that you have in trying to harbor powerful negative feelings in the situation. It frees you from feeling the need to take vengeance in the situation. It admits that it is God’s place and not yours to take vengeance and show wrath. Forgiveness in this way is for the forgiver.
Not forgiving someone often puts more of a hold on you than it does on the perpetrating party. We often see how people who hurt us, may not feel as bad as we do. By harboring the hate, the want for vengeance, the ideas of retaliation, and the refusal to forgive, we are hurting ourselves. It effects not only our emotional life, but also our physical and spiritual lives as well. Stress can kill and all that ill will that we harbor inside of us gets turned back to us and wrecks havoc on us.
Don’t get me wrong; forgiveness also helps the offending party. It gives him or her hope and encouragement. It helps him or her to feel that he or she is not doomed to death. It helps him or her to forgive him or herself and to ask forgiveness from God. Think about it. How do you feel when someone has forgiven you? More importantly, how do you feel when God has forgiven you?
We might say, “Well, I can forgive people for little things, but I don’t know if I can forgive people for big things, like abuse and murder.” Yet, we need to look closely to Jesus’ words. He doesn’t say, “Forgive people if they do little things.” He says, “Forgive our debtors.”
Forgiveness may be difficult. However, we wouldn’t be called to do it if it wasn’t something that we couldn’t do. We also need to remember that we can’t do anything without God’s help, so forgiveness shouldn’t be any different. We are called to ask God for help in forgiving others, just as we are called to ask God’s help in doing anything.
In this short verse, Jesus uses the word “as” here. I believe that this is a reminder to ask God for forgiveness and acknowledgement that it is only fair that God treats us like we treat others. If we treat others well, God is more inclined to treat us well. If we forgive others, God is more inclined to forgive us. It is like that with people too. If we smile at someone, they are more inclined to smile back. If we encourage someone, they are more inclined to encourage us back. So, with this verse, we are praying that when or while we forgive others, God will also forgive us. Wouldn’t life be so much better if we all learned to ask forgiveness and give it better? (I like how God always wants what is best for us and we can see it in every word He gives us!)
Thank you for your love. Thank you for always wanting the best for us: your children and creations. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus to be our Lord, our Savior, and our Teacher. Thank you for these words in the Lord’s Prayer. Help us to pray them and live by them whole-heartedly. Help us to forgive others, even when it is difficult. I ask you this through Jesus, your Son. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Matthew 6:12 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 6:12 mean to me?
*What does forgiveness mean to me?
*Do I recite these words or pray these words?
*Do I forgive others?
*Do I ask God’s help to forgive others?
*Do I ask God’s forgiveness?
Now, it is your turn.
I look forward to reading your thoughts. Please, share how you like this post and what Matthew 6:12 means to you. If you don't want to share with everyone, feel free to contact me. Thank you for reading.
P.S.- - If you haven't read the other posts in the Lord's Prayer series, you may want to read those as well.
* Lord's Prayer Series - - Post 1
* Lord's Prayer Series - - Post 2
* Lord's Prayer Series - - Post 3
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.