Luke 11:4a – “And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone in debt to us.” (CSB)
I have recently realized I can journey no farther on the road with Jesus if I don’t learn to forgive properly and fully. So many people sinned against Jesus. They mocked him, tried to trick Him, falsely accused Him, and eventually murdered Him. As He slowly and painfully died on that cross (a curse on Him), He asked the Father to forgive “them”. All my life I assumed the “them” Jesus forgave were the ones who called for and executed His death. Those were not the only people who needed forgiveness. I need forgiveness. God knew I would need forgiveness, so He allowed His son to suffer and die. If I want to receive forgiveness, I must forgive.
But WHO am I required to forgive? I only want to forgive those who think like me, love me, mostly agree with me. I don’t want to have to forgive the people who adamantly disagree with me on social, political, or (especially) religious issues. For whom did Jesus intercede while on the cross? (Luke 23:34) It doesn’t matter. When I ask who I must forgive, I become the lawyer in Luke 10:29 because I are seeking to justify myself. Nowhere in Scripture do we find Jesus seeking to justify who gets forgiveness. How presumptuous of me to think I have the right to pick and choose who deserves my forgiveness!
I desperately want to go to heaven, but I know that to get there, I cannot hold offenses against my brothers and sisters or anyone. Jesus simply asked the Father to forgive. I must do likewise. (Luke 6:37; Acts 13:38; Colossians 3:13)
My time on earth will be short. My time in heaven (or hell?) will be eternal. I will not allow hurt feelings to be a cause for not making it to heaven where I can spend eternity praising God with His children!