[Jesus said,] “When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins.”
If you’ve experienced the grace of God—if you truly know the depths of his forgiveness of your sins—you will naturally forgive others as well. You probably know this truth already, which doesn’t make it any easier to practice. When our spouse, children, parents, boss, or others wound us through their sinfulness, we may not even realize how deep the wounds go. We hurt and become focused on the pain, often overlooking the ways that we have hurt others.
This is why we must constantly forgive and seek forgiveness for the ways we hurt others.
In offering us a model for how to pray, Jesus told us to ask our Father to “forgive us our trespasses [or sins] as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We tend to think of trespassing as walking through protected property that does not belong to us. But trespassing encompasses all the ways we intrude into someone else’s well-being, violating the boundaries and standards God has established.
Forgiveness works both ways, vertically and horizontally.
Pray: “Lord, I want to forgive those who hurt me the same way that you forgive me of my sins. Help me to love them with the power of your Spirit.”
You can grow closer to God with Dr. Tabor’s Jesus Daily® Devotional Book at Amazon.com or fine bookstores everywhere.