Forgive us our sins, as we also forgive everyone who sins against us… Luke 11:4
Requesting to have our sins forgiven is the easy part of Jesus’ teaching on prayer. We all blow it. We all make mistakes and bad choices that require God’s forgiveness.
Now comes the hard part—forgiving others who have sinned against us. With just a few words, Jesus’ instruction on prayer reaches deep into our belief system. He instructs us to go against our human nature. He teaches us to forgive the wrongs against us instead of keeping records of the offenses we’ve suffered or following our desires to lash out in retaliation.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24
Living on this planet with other imperfect people is a constant challenge, but holding onto unforgiveness or resentment injures ourselves.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” Nelson Mandela
Some people make the wrong choice by rejecting God’s forgiveness and refusing to forgive others. One of the thieves hanging on a cross next to Jesus ended up in Paradise at nightfall, but the other, being just six feet away from eternity, refused to believe and ended up in hell.
Do you believe you can have your sins forgiven? Have you acted upon the belief? In the best way you know how, humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will cleanse you from the inside out. Allow God to revive you and your relationships. Let Him help you recover from hurts you received or from guilt you have carried. Ask for the empowering of the Holy Spirit so you can live forgiven and extend the same grace toward others.
Suggestion – every time you wash your hands today, let it be a reminder to turn to God and ask for cleansing.