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Matthew 6:12 meaning...

In this verse, Jesus includes a plea for forgiveness as part of the model prayer He gives to His disciples. He instructs us to ask God to forgive us our debts, our sins, shortcomings, and transgressions. However, Jesus does not stop there; He links our request for forgiveness to our own act of forgiving others.

The word "debts" in this context symbolizes our moral and spiritual indebtedness before God. It represents the ways in which we have fallen short of His perfect standard. As fallible human beings, we all make mistakes, hurt others, and fall into sin. Jesus acknowledges our need for forgiveness and invites us to approach God with a humble heart, acknowledging our faults and seeking His mercy.

The phrase "as we also forgive our debtors" is a crucial part of this prayer. It highlights the inseparable connection between receiving and extending forgiveness. It emphasizes that our forgiveness from God is intimately tied to our willingness to forgive those who have wronged us.

When we pray the Lord's Prayer and utter these words, we are not only requesting forgiveness for ourselves but also acknowledging our commitment to extend forgiveness to others. Jesus is teaching us that forgiveness is not a one-sided transaction. It is a reciprocal act that forms an integral part of our relationship with God and others.

Jesus further emphasizes the importance of forgiveness in the verses that follow (Matthew 6:14-15):

"14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

These verses clarify the profound significance of forgiving others. Jesus highlights that our forgiveness from God is conditional upon our willingness to forgive those who have wronged us. It does not mean that our forgiveness is earned through our own actions, but rather that a heart that refuses to forgive indicates a lack of understanding and appreciation for God's forgiveness extended towards us.

When we withhold forgiveness from others, we hinder the flow of God's grace and mercy in our own lives. Unforgiveness erects barriers that prevent us from experiencing the fullness of God's forgiveness and the healing that comes with it. It weighs down our hearts, sows bitterness, and hinders our own spiritual growth.

The act of forgiving others is not always easy. It may require us to let go of hurts, release resentment, and extend grace to those who have caused us pain. However, Jesus calls us to emulate His example of forgiveness, even when it seems challenging or undeserved.

By forgiving others, we participate in the transformative power of God's love. We break the cycle of bitterness and resentment and create space for healing and reconciliation. Forgiveness liberates us from the burden of holding onto grudges and allows us to experience the freedom and peace that comes from embracing God's forgiveness.

In summary, Matthew 6:12 teaches us the importance of seeking forgiveness from God and extending forgiveness to others. It reminds us that forgiveness is an integral part of our relationship with God and fellow human beings. As we pray for God's forgiveness, we also commit to forgiving those who have wronged us. Let us embrace the transformative power of forgiveness, releasing the burdens of unforgiveness and extending the same grace and mercy we have received from our Heavenly Father to others.

See also: vs 6, & 13

Matthew 6:12. Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.


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