And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us is the next personal request in the prayer.
When people sin against us, it hurts us. When we sin against God, it hurts him.
We expect God to forgive us because The Bible says that is what he does. He is all of grace. Are we the same? It’s a little hypocritical if we think that God should forgive us, but we believe we have the right to hold a grudge.
One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter asked about this very issue. Jesus responded with a parable to make the point clear.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, cancelled the debt, and let him go.
“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
If you end up in jail in a parable, that is terrifying symbolism. Captivity represents judgment and judgement ultimately is separation from God in hell.
This is what Jesus says will happen to us if we don’t forgive others.
And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us
The line is a prayer for our own salvation.
If you’re never prayed it before, I encourage you to consider it as your next prayer. Think it over first, though. It’s a big deal.
Remember that forgiveness is not the same as pretending it didn’t happen and it doesn’t mean that there will never be consequences for a person’s sins. Still…
Yours in not counting the times,