Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
When we pray “forgive us our debts”, we are not asking to be removed from our responsibilities.
We are asking that God would “acquit” us from our guilt. That is to have the punishment due our sin, removed.
It is a legal term, for God is either our Savior, or our Judge.
If He is our Savior, then He has taken our guilt, and the punishment of it on Himself, when He was offered on the cross.
His precious blood covers us and we are made “righteous”.
That means we are not just “not guilty” before God, but that Christ righteousness is applied to us.
We stand in Him, and God sees us as such.
So when we have committed sins (and we do each day: sins of omission, or of not doing right. Or sins of commission, or of doing wrong.); we may come to Him as ask forgiveness.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
And He forgives us.
Then He asks us to be like Him, and forgive our debtors; those who have wronged us.
We are not excusing their sins, only forgiving them, as we have been forgiven by God.
To forgive is to invite peace, peace with God and man, into your life.
When we forgive, we do not let things, like anger and bitterness, come between us and God.
We know He could change circumstances in my favor, if He wanted to.
But what He wants is to change us,….in the circumstances.
To show us His saving strength, and His bubbling joy, even in dark times.
To have us walk in His light.
The Bible says:
Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
I had a cousin once who was the daughter of a missionary in a foreign country.
She would go with her father through the jungle paths, to visit the people of their congregation.
They always carried a lamp and a flashlight, in case it grew dark before they came home.
At night, her father would walk in front, holding the lamp, and shining the flashlight behind him on the path, so she would know how to walk safely.
She said that often as they were walking, this verse would come to her mind, and she would thank God for their safety; both spiritually and physically.
Jude 21 “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Eternal Life begins the moment we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior; and continues forever.
The Holy Spirit helps us forgive. We are not left to ourselves, but helped on all sides.
Forgiving others frees us from the tangled emotions which bind us to the world,…..and lets us fly over the circumstances….and people, in peace.