“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6.12
Traditionally, we use the word ‘trespass’ or ‘sin’ when we pray this prayer, but the word ‘debt’ is probably a closer translation of the original, which carries the sense of ‘something owed.’ The difficulty is that we can appreciate the first part of the phrase, but may be less keen on the second!
We are encouraged to be honest about the way we approach God, and to face up to how we can ask for God’s forgiveness when we do wrong, but what if we are not willing to be just as forgiving to those who have hurt us? It is not a matter of forgiving others in order to earn our own forgiveness, but about eradicating unforgiveness from our hearts by receiving forgiveness from God and then passing it on to others.
If you know someone who has hurt you, begin by rejoicing in the total forgiveness God has given you through Jesus, and then ask for the grace to pass this same forgiveness on to them.
God encourages you to forgive, even though it can be so tough, because he knows this is what will give you a level of peace that little else can achieve.