God, How Can We Forgive ~ Hymn 445

By: Alan Harvey

Posted: July 6, 2020

Category: Daily Devotional

Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal

Matthew 6:12-15

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. For 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.

I know I read it; I know not where. Its truth sticks with me, and so I gladly share. “The person who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he must pass.”

In other words, we need to forgive in order to receive forgiveness.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches, “And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors,” In this prayer we are pleading for forgiveness while assuring God that we have already forgiven those who are indebted to us.

In verses 14-15, Jesus is recorded as saying: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Stanza 2 of “God, How Can We Forgive” reminds us of the meaning of the Greek word for sins: “missing the mark”. If we do not forgive others, we have missed the mark God has set for us, namely, to be as forgiving as God has forgiven us. Stanza 3 of “God, How Can We Forgive” alludes to the story in the Gospel of John where an angry mob brings a woman caught in adultery to be judged by Jesus. That story ended with her accusers dropping their stones when they were made aware of their own sinfulness and need to be forgiven.


Dear God, thank You for forgiving us and for teaching us to forgive so that we may be forgiven. When we fall short of being as forgiving as we should be, remind us to show compassion and mercy. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.