If you’re a Christian, chances are you know the Lord’s Prayer. And so you probably pass by one particular line when you recite it:
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
We see that and think it says “Forgive us because we forgive people.” It doesn’t. It says “forgive us AS we forgive others.” It comes with a condition. We need to forgive, too.
If one piece of biblical evidence isn’t enough, good call, but I have more. The verses immediately after the prayer say this:
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 ESV)
Jesus also said,
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, (Luke 17:3 ESV)
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25 ESV)
These are all examples of Jesus Himself saying we need to forgive all the people that wrong us. And I think we all know that.
So why don’t we? What excuse do we have to say “What that person did is beyond my forgiveness.”? Nothing we could ever do is beyond Jesus’ forgiveness. Just something to think about.