"Yes, if you forgive other people for the things they do wrong, then your Father in heaven will also forgive you for the things you do wrong. But if you don't forgive the wrong things people do to you, then your Father in heaven will not forgive the wrong things you do."
— Matthew 6:14-15
How can we dare go before God and ask him to forgive us if we refuse to forgive others? God's grace is to be shared! If we do not share that grace, then it sours in us and we lose its blessing. We are forgiven to be agents of forgiveness. On a daily basis, our awareness of God's grace should help us re-start the forgiveness cycle in our own life by forgiving others before we ask for our own forgiveness. This desire to forgive and bless is just another evidence of being children of God who long to liberate others from their sin and bless them with grace.
Holy and exalted God, thank you for your forgiveness and grace. Help me let go of all bitterness and vindictiveness as I forgive those who have harmed me. May your work of redemption and grace touch their hearts as it has mine. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
"Be careful! When you do good things, don't do those things in front of people. Don't do those things for people to see you. If you do that, then you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. "When you give to poor people, don't announce that you are giving. Don't do like the hypocrites do. They blow trumpets before they give so that people will see them. They do that in the synagogues and on the streets. They want other people to give honor to them. I tell you the truth. Those hypocrites already have their full reward. So when you give to poor people, give very secretly. Don't let any person know what you are doing. Your giving should be done in secret. Your Father can see the things that are done in secret. And he will reward you. "When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites. The hypocrites love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray loudly. They want people to see them pray. I tell you the truth. They already have their full reward. When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door. Then pray to your Father. He is there in that secret place. Your Father can see the things that are done in secret. And he will reward you. "And when you pray, don't be like those people that don't know God. They continue saying things that mean nothing. Don't pray like that. They think that God will hear them because of the many things they say. Don't be like those people. Your Father knows the things you need before you ask him. So when you pray, you should pray like this: 'Our Father in heaven, we pray that your name will always be kept holy. We pray that your kingdom will come, and that the things you want will be done here on earth, the same as in heaven. Give us the food we need for each day. Forgive the sins we have done, the same as we have forgiven the people that did wrong to us. Don't let us be tempted (tested); but save us from the Evil One (the devil).' Yes, if you forgive other people for the things they do wrong, then your Fatherin heaven will also forgive you for the things you do wrong. But if you don't forgive the wrong things people do to you, then your Father in heaven will not forgive the wrong things you do. "When you fast, don't make yourselves look sad. The hypocrites do that. Don't be like the hypocrites. They make their faces look strange to show people that they are fasting. I tell you the truth, those hypocrites already have their full reward. So when you fast, make yourself look nice. Wash your face. Then people will not know that you are fasting. But your Father that you cannot see will see you. Your Father sees the things that are done in secret. And he will reward you.
When you are praying, and you remember that you are angry with another person about something, then forgive that person. Forgive them so that your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins."