Reading Luke 11: 1-4 (KJV)
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus tells his disciples to pray like this: “Our Father which art in heaven….”
The prayer asks for many things: that God’s kingdom will come to earth, that we have daily bread, that a time of trial does not overcome us.
Only one line of this prayer points toward actions we must take in our relationship with God. ‘Forgive us as we forgive others.’ When we ask God to forgive us our sins, we promise to forgive others their debts to us.
Two-way forgiveness must be important. God wants to forgive us when we make mistakes, but we may not accept it. Guilt, or denial that we have ever hurt anyone, can get in the way.
Likewise, resentment can get in the way when other people owe us money, property, or a piece of our soul.
In forgiving others, we let go of resentment. We clear the way for relationship. In restored relationship with others, we may glimpse a way to let go of guilt and denial for our own mistakes.
We become ready to accept God’s forgiveness.
It’s two-way: when we forgive others, we more easily accept forgiveness ourselves.
Let us pray. Our Father which art in heaven, thank you for showing us the importance of two-way forgiveness. Forgive us, as we forgive others. Help us to let go of resentment, guilt, denial, and all other barriers to relationship with you and with all your children. Amen.