“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – Matthew 6:12
Our verse today is such a very famous verse. Since almost all people who claim to be Christians, or who are Christians know how to pray the “Lord’s prayer” because it is the prayer that the Lord has taught us. Many people don’t want it to be called the Lord’s prayer because of our verse today. If it’s Christ’s prayer, then He is like asking to be forgiven, but He has no sin. Yet, we have to remember that Jesus taught us this so that He will make a good example of how or what our prayer should be.
Now, let us go deeper and reflect on this verse. It’s a prayer of us asking to be forgiven as we also forgive others. Yet, there are a lot of misunderstandings towards this. Some people think that we will gain the forgiveness of God through forgiving others. However, we must understand that we are saved by grace, thus we are forgiven because of the grace of God. Our forgiveness is not based on how good we are, but we are forgiven because we are pardoned and fully given grace.
So, we have to remember that this prayer is a prayer after we are already saved. After all, our repentance is an ongoing cycle. We must always acknowledge that we are wrong and that we need forgiveness every day. Indeed, we are saved and have already received the forgiveness of God. Yet we also have to always acknowledge and confess our sins to God so our sins will be forgiven. Thus, this is why we pray this prayer that God will forgive us and that we can also forgive others just as how He forgave us. We must not forgive so that we will be forgiven nor we are forgiven because we forgave.
Therefore, the paradox lying behind this verse is simply that our forgiveness completely belongs to God, and forgiving others is a manifestation of how we are first shown love and forgiveness by God. So, we must always keep in our minds that we are not doing anything to earn our forgiveness, but it is entirely because of the grace of God. We must forgive others because we know that we are already forgiven and have shown grace even if we don’t deserve it. Thus, even if other people don’t deserve it, we are to forgive them so that we will manifest the love of God and the grace of God.