In our five-part series on The Lord’s Prayer, we come to the gifts God gives us every day when Jesus asks us to ask for our daily bread. The exact phrase:Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
I don't know about you, but I don't think very rigorously about the things I do wrong to others. After all, I know they are done out of a good heart. I have all kinds of rationalizations about them.
But let me tell you. I can become very stern over a minor (in comparison to my sins) resentment. I can let resentment crush my soul by rigorously detailing every wrong I endured. I can be depleted of time, emotional energy and clear thinking when I put myself in a prison of resentment and throw away the key of forgiveness. When I do this, I drink the poison of unforgiveness, rather than experience the supernatural experience of sincere, agape love for someone who has either carelessly or seriously offended me.
This phrase of the powerful Lord’s Prayer if prayed sincerely can become the most transformational phrase we ever utter. God our holy Abba-Father is so clever and wise when He asks us to consider our own forgiveness in light of our own sinful acts.
When I hold on to resentments, it only tells me one reality about myself--I am not fully aware of what my sins have cost Jesus. When I am so full of anger and resentment towards another human being, I am asked to consider my own sins against my Holy Hollowed God! In His Kingdom, unforgiveness has no place! Forgiveness is the magnet that draws us into the Kingdom of God.
Our personal relationship with God is ignited by forgiveness. When our hearts, hardened by sin, become soft enough to acknowledge that we are utterly unworthy before our Hollowed God and we bow our heads and ask for mercy, our hearts are flooded with forgiveness. We receive, through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, the whole manner of heaven. We become citizens of the Kingdom of God through God’s mercy and forgiveness opened by our repentance.
Once you belong to God’s Kingdom, you have the power, the capacity and the responsibility to be forgiving as your heavenly Father is forgiving. Colossians 3:13 says,
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
You came to Christ by the power of forgiveness; you bring others to Christ through the power of forgiveness.
Having said all that, let me be bold to declare that some Christians believe they are forgiving when what they really are doing is putting a Band-Aid on an infectious wound which does nothing to build God’s kingdom. Rather, it helps the person repress their bad feelings against another person. Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is not pretending it didn't hurt, and it isn't necessarily reconciliation, rather, forgiveness is a decision, it is a divine absurdity, and it might lead to reconciliation. Forgiving others as we have been forgiven is one of the highest spiritual experiences you will ever enjoy on earth. Forgiveness is alchemy for the soul. It is a magical transformation.
I consider this phase of this prayer as the most victorious reality I enjoy in the Kingdom. When I experience God’s transforming power through the power of forgiving those who sin against me, I am given a joy and intimacy and deeper appreciation for the forgiveness Jesus offers me.
Part 1| Part 2| Part 3| Part 4| Part 5