Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors …. That was my everyday prayer as a child. My parents taught me to say the Lord’s prayer every day, and I am teaching my kids to do the same. Powerful all encompassed Lord’s prayer! It teaches us that God will forgive our sins when we forgive others who sin against us. It is tough to forgive, especially when we see the scar left behind by the offence. Sin is terrible no wonder God the father took away His face when the son had all the sin of the whole world on him at Calvary (Matt 27: 46).
The Williams were my family’s friend when I was a child. The relationship started with their daughter Grace and I. We were neighborhood friends and met to play regularly in the evening. Most times she comes to my house. As the relationship grew, our parents became friends, and we will visit each other’s home. Grace’s family was more prosperous than mine, but that did not stop the relationship we were friends, we were happy. However, one day, the unexpected happened, money was missing in Grace’s home, and my sibling James was accused as the thief. No parent wanted their child to be called a thief, especially when the accusation is wrong. The accusation was loud James and Grace’s cousin Dave was the only one in the house the day the money was lost. Dave did not know about the money and could not have stolen the money, so James was accused strongly as the culprit. James came home crying convincing my parents that he did not steal the money, and my parents believed him because he does not steal, and though we were not wealthy, we were comfortable.
My father could not forgive Grace’s family for this wrong accusation, and he gave a verdict to stop the friendship. No more going to Grace’s house, the friendship has ended, we should not be friends to people who cannot trust us. A few days later, the truth was known Dave stole the money, but my father was not going back on his decision. Grace’s family did not manage the situation well either; they also stopped associating with us and did not apologize for the wrong accusation.
My family is a Christian family who knew and accepted the Lord Jesus as our savior, but we were not going to forgive Grace’s family. Few years after, at a revival service in the church, the preacher spoke about forgiveness and reminded us of Matt 18: 21- 22. The Holy Spirit convinced my father about forgiving the Williams and that night led his family to make reconciliation with Grace’s family. The broken relationship was mended, peace was restored, healing and restoration took place. God used my family to help Grace’s family experience the power of forgiveness. They had more pains of unforgiveness, and my father led them to surrender to Christ so that they can forgive those who had hurt them. My family was happier, and this childhood memory had stayed with me, reminding me of the command to forgive when people hurt us.
We are Christians because God forgave all our sins. He overlooked them as if we never sinned. The blood of Jesus was sufficient to pacify the anger of God against man. We also need to forgive people who sin against us then we will be the kind of disciple that God wants us to be. The unforgiving servant in Mathew 18: 21 – 35 was punished because he did not forgive his debtor. He was earlier forgiven his very huge debt, but that was reversed just because he could not forgive his debtor. Our heavenly father will do the same to us if we refuse to forgive others their sin. “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (Matt 18: 35). The good news, however, is that the Holy Spirit enables us to forgive others. We cannot do it by ourselves; the Holy Spirit can and is ready to help us. Is there someone you need to forgive today, are there people who have hurt you in the past and the burdens are still heavy in your heart? The Holy Spirit is our comforter; he is our helper; he can help you forgive and let go if you turn to him in prayers today. He will wipe away the pains in your heart, Will you turn to him now? He is waiting for you.