… but first, pray for forgiveness!
Sound redundant? Not at all. Jesus, when His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, included this, “and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)
Every honest person realizes they are not perfect, even if, to hear them relate to others, you couldn’t imagine them ever admitting it. Completely aside from any Biblical statements to that effect, if we’ve ever—that means, EVER!—disobeyed, lied, gossiped, stolen(including borrowing without returning), struck out in anger(verbally or physically), hurt someone without repenting and asking their forgiveness, held a grudge … fill the blank:_________________ … we need forgiveness.
There, was that so hard? Now we have to look at the second half of Jesus’ instruction in prayer: As we also forgive our debtors. As = in the same manner. We = me, you, everyone. Also = assuming we’ve first done it ourselves. Forgiven = absolved of responsibility. Our = Let’s make it personal, folks! Debtors = those who owe us something, anything! That includes an apology, a favor, money(yes, that’s in God’s Word too), even the obligation to live up to our expectations.
Now, for the benefit of anyone who got this far and still doesn’t get it: If we want God to forgive sins, we MUST FIRST do the same for others!
God’s Grace Helps
This teaching is for those who have just tasted of the heavenly gift, become sharers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good Word of God and the works of power of the coming age (Hebrews 6:4-5)—in other words, newly saved—God is willing to bear with you for awhile, until you come to your senses and seek His mind in everything. But in saying that, I must confess to presuming on His grace often and blatantly. I live to repent, however, by the very grace that I’ve taken for granted.
Oh, praise God for His steadfast love and faithfulness.
His mercy endures forever!