A 4-year old got confused while praying the Lord’s Prayer. The little guy prayed … “And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.”
Isn’t that cute?! We giggle at those words … but actually, that’s pretty much what Jesus meant by His words in Matthew 6:12. In fact, Jesus then went on to say in verse 15 … “but if you do not forgive men their sins, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.”
Your church and my church, are simply communities for forgiven and forgiving sinners! Every individual who attends the worship services each weekend has fallen short of the glory of God. (Or, as one pastor once prayed, “Forgive us for our falling shorts!”)
Praise God for His free gift of salvation by grace!!
Because God has forgiven you, you must forgive others.
Why? Is this just another commandment ‘for your own good’?
YEP!! It sure is!!
Being ‘un-forgiving’ will lead to bitterness, anger, or a critical attitude which will bring sickness to your heart and eventually to your body. Forgiveness will make you free and release the Holy Spirit to bring healing to your life.
So as autumn begins and the trees begin to release their leaves … why not release your grudges, grief and guilt. Empty your trash basket!
Ephesians 4:31-32 says … “Get rid of all bitterness, passion and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tenderhearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.”
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.” – Matthew 6:14
Dennis Wheeler is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his weekly column The Focus. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.