“Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Over the years as a pastor, I have counseled many prisoners and parishioners and found one of the greatest roadblocks to an intimate relationship with God the Father is being unwilling to forgive. An unforgiving spirit is like a chain around the heart. It will imprison you to the person you refuse to forgive. That person will control you until you break the chain with the heartfelt words, “I forgive you.” Your sincerity will be evident when you are able to ask God to bless him or her the same way you’d want God to bless you.
Right after Jesus teaches what we know as the Lord’s Prayer, He highlights the importance of forgiveness: “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (v. 15). You may be saved, but if you don’t forgive, you will not experience the full joy of your relationship with the Father. True sons and daughters of their Father will forgive as the Father has forgiven them in Christ. How our world is longing for children who will forgive just as their Father does.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.”