Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Lord's Prayer V

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6.12
Humans are notorious for their ability to blame others. Everything is always someone else's fault. We want everything bad that ever happens to us to be the responsibility of anyone other than ourselves. "The devil made me do it." "My parents were divorced." "My co-worker didn't do his job." You probably could add to this list.

But, in his model prayer, Jesus doesn't let us off so easily. He understands that each of us people is capable of sin and very likely to do so.  We should not be pointing the finger at someone else, but owning up to our own culpability in many situations. We need to be forgiven our own sins. 

There are a couple of more things for us to realize, however. First of all, depending on which gospel you are reading and which translation of the Bible you are using, this verse is translated as debts, trespasses and sins. Each of us has to deal with our sins. We might call our sins by other names to try and make ourselves feel better and look better to others. We will convince ourselves that we have made mistakes, gotten off the path or simply need to make a course correction. But its all sin. And we are all guilty (Romans 3.23).

Secondly, our personal forgiveness seems to be tied to our willingness to forgive others. Humans have a tremendous capacity to hold a grudge. Here is a word of advice: Get over it! The only way that you can live a fulfilling, fruitful and peaceful life is to forgive those who have wronged you. 

Forgive, and be forgiven.

Prayer: I am sorry, God, for all the things that I have done that are not pleasing to you. Forgive me. Allow me to know your grace and peace. May I be willing and able to forgive others, according to your word and your love.  Amen.

No comments: