It is written in Matthew 6:12: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”. This part of the “Our Father” prayer comes just after the request of the daily bread, as if the fulfilment of this request also depends on the management of the debts.
The debts mentioned in Matthew 6:12 are at three levels: the debt against the Lord, the debt against one’s neighbour and the debt against one’s self. Yes, the Bible tells us to ask the Father for forgiveness for our debts and adds: “as we forgive our debtors”. While the Bible says that it is our sins that has hidden the Father’s face from us and prevent Him from listening to us (Isaiah 59:2b), Matthew 6:12 also emphasizes the management of our debts which determines the effectiveness of our prayers.
According to Matthew 18:34-35, the Lord is unrelenting towards people who refuse to forgive the debts of others, the trespasses they have suffered. To explain this, Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants (Matthew 18:23). He then tells the story of this servant who benefited from the king’s compassion and a debt forgiveness of ten thousand talents but who, in turn, refused to have mercy on his companion who owed him barely a hundred denarii and had him put in prison. When the master heard this, he was irritated and cancelled the debt forgiveness of the wicked servant and “delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him”, as Matthew 18:32-34 points out. And the Bible concludes: “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother [a]his trespasses”. (Matthew 18:35).
Some Christians forgive in part and not with all their heart. “I forgive him but I will not talk to him any more”, or “I forgive but now I will be cold with this person who has hurt me”, they say, as if they are making the other person pay for his mistakes somehow.
How do you deal with the debts of a third party? God calls you to forgive with all your heart as He forgives you for all your mistakes. “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful” says the Bible in Luke 6:36. We speak of mercy, not only when the Lord, by His grace, forgives us when we repent, but especially when He goes further to spare us the consequences of the sins we committed. You must imitate him!
Some Christians refuse to forgive and be merciful to others because, in fact, they consider themselves somehow to be “rather good people, better than others”. Is it not written in Luke 7:47 “But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little”? Such people show little love and therefore little mercy because they believe that God did not have to forgive them much. However, we have no idea how often we sin against God and against our neighbour. And the enemy, the accuser, takes advantage of it to make a claim against us and prevent us from having our blessings (Revelation 12:10). Only divine mercy, obtained through the blood of Jesus, can save!
Beloved, let me tell you, the lack of forgiveness and mercy reactivates divine judgment, as illustrated by the king’s reaction to the evil servant. “…For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment”, says the Bible in James 2:13. It is certainly not always easy to forgive; especially when you have been wounded in the depths of your soul. But ask the help of the Holy Spirit and you will succeed in forgiving and showing mercy.
The less merciful you are to your neighbour, the less God will in turn be merciful to you and your prayers will be ineffective! “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”. (Matthew 5:7). Therefore, show forgiveness and mercy to your neighbour and you will have victory over your many challenges.
May God bless you Beloved
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”.
“Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses”.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses”.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do”.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you“.
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down”.
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