Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
"Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors" (Matthew 6:12)
Of course, this does not refer to forgiving financial debts. Luke's Gospel shows that the "debts" Jesus had in mind are sins, for it says: "Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone that is in debt to us." (Luke 11:4) We need to imitate God, who freely forgives repentant sinners. People can receive God's forgiveness only if they have already forgiven those who have sinned against them. (Mark 11:25) Stressing this point, Jesus added: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; whereas if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14, 15) Yes, God grants forgiveness only to those who freely forgive others. And one way to keep on doing good is to comply with Paul's counsel: "Even as Jehovah freely forgave you, so do you also."—Colossians 3:13.
(Watchtower issue: 5/15/08, 2:9-11)