We pray the prayer together each week in worship. We may pray it more often privately in our lives. One line from the Lord’s Prayer has us saying “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” I hope that I am not only forgiven by God as I forgive. In the best case scenario, it seems that being forgiven should make us into forgiving people.
This lesson also comes through in one parable of Jesus:
“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Again, I hope that I am not only forgiven by God to the extent that I forgive others. Either way, it seems that being forgiven should make me into a more forgiving person.
Dear God, help me accept the forgiveness you give me daily in Jesus Christ. And as I live in the grace of your forgiving mercy, make me into a person who freely forgives others, so that I may walk peacefully on the path of discipleship, following my Lord and Savior Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.