When I was a child I remember learning the model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.[b]
How easy it was to religiously repeat this prayer over and over without ever really comprehending what it is, I was professing (and I use the word profess not so lightly in this instance) because many people too often with “good intentions” falsely proclaim things only to then walk away. How many of us go about in life, religiously quoting and repeating things scarcely understanding the depth of that which we claim. However you will have to pardon me because back then I was just a child.
As I grew older the reality of this prayer started hitting especially when we get to verse 12 “And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.” This part of The Lord’s Prayer began to struck fear in my heart, but it was righteous fear: Because, every time I would pray that prayer, I would often wonder if I was walking in hypocrisy as my mind raced, wondering had I forgotten to forgive others?
Matthew 6:15 “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Its amazing how we just quote that prayer and especially that line in verse 12 whilst neglecting the fact that we can miss out on God’s forgiveness if we ourselves are bitter and unforgiving towards others.
Anyway, one day, many years ago close relative had hurt me. However, the way this relative saw this issue was that I had hurt them. In the process of their hurt, they hurt me and got many other relatives and friends involved in this process of hurting me. I was never bitter about the situation, but often just hurt over this whole situation. Imagine people hating you and losing friends over a situation they have no proper understanding of based on a single story (The danger of a single story).
Whilst this hurt was going on and I was being hurt through people’s actions and words, I kept asking God to forgive me if I was refusing to see how or where I could have possibly hurt this relative I so dearly love and also breathe life into any dead parts in me. I never stopped there, I also kept praying that God would peel back the layers of hurt caused to this relative and take a heart hard as a stone and turn it around. I refused to be like the Pharisees, who are quick to point out the wrong in others while overlooking the massive forgiveness covering their own life.
Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Many times we are quick to overlook our own wrong doing feeling high and mighty, very self-righteous and unforgiving yet pointing out the wrong doing of others. Take a moment of pause and examine your life. Never wait for others to acknowledge their mistakes because sometimes it doesn’t happen and you will be waiting a long time. However, make a choice to forgive by the same Grace of God extended to us or else you will carry the burden of un-forgiveness for the rest of your life.
Remember we are still a work of art still being moulded. Therefore, Philippians 1:6 “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it”
God bless you,
I’m a christian and I’m proud