9 "This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.' 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
I was particular interested in the debts and debtors. In verse 12, Jesus first tells us to ask the Father first to forgive our debts. This is what we owe to God. The second half is when we forgive those who OWE us.
Only when God shows us how He forgives our sins, then we can start to forgive others. (Jesus speaks about the similar issue in Matthew 18:21-35 - The parable of the Unmericful servant.
Based on wiki, a debtor is an entity that owes a debt to someone else. So my debtors are those who owe me something.
Is Jesus here only talking about money? Perhaps. But probably a lot more than that. Because in the first half of verse 12, He uses the same word debts to describe what we owe to God (and we owe God more than just money!). In verse 14 and 15, Jesus explains further about debts and debtors.
I was thinking some deeper issues and certain incidents when I was holding grudge against someone. Perhaps someone from church who wronged me or talk behind my back. They owe me plenty...not money...(usually pride and ego)...
I remembered a while back I was having lunch with a bunch of friends. I left early and realized I forgot something. As I walked back in, I heard someone said..'hey do you know if Cliff is dating.....'
One of my pet peeves is when someone talk behind someone about relationship. It will be fine if they ask me in person. The conversation died down very quickly as they saw me.
It is little incidence like this when we need to forgive first. Forgive even they (the 'wrong' party) haven't apologize yet. Forgive even when I don't feel like it. Forgive even if I am 'right'. (I am using right and wrong loosely because at certain times being right is just a perspective...)
So often we read, study and hear about how God forgives us so freely. Yet when it comes to our turn to do the same, we just think it is unfair, not right or our situation is unique. God didn't wait until I realize I have wronged Him then He comes with full forgiveness. I was forgiven while I was His enemies....
For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Our situation is unique. God loves us so much He forigves first. Perhaps when we truly learn the meaning of forgiveness and reconciliation...we won't have so much problem with our brothers, our sisters and our neighbours...