Matthew 6:12 "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of our emotional and spiritual prison and sets us free. Forgiveness, which is an invaluable, expensive gift from God, enables us to experience release, liberation and freedom. The first part of our verse of focus states, "forgive us our debts". These words express the fact that we are aware of the need for forgiveness. A debt is something that is owed. The figurative use of the word 'debt', means our sins.
When we violate our obligations of being obedient to God, we are exposed to the penalty of the violation, which is separation from Him. We are humanly unable to repay our 'debts' to God. Therefore, when we humbly ask God for forgiveness, He wipes our slates clean, and through the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary, God sees us as if we have never sinned. The blood of Jesus paid all our debts. Jesus is our only Saviour. What a Saviour!
There is not a single individual who does not stand in need of the gift of forgiveness. Romans 3:23 vividly reminds us that, 'all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.' Our sins separate us from God; but His power of forgiveness reconciles us to Him. Matthew 6:12 concludes with the words, "as we forgive our debtors". It must be noted that as God gives us the gift of forgiveness, we must not keep it for ourselves, but rather pass it on to those who are indebted to us.
In our lifetime, there are numerous persons who have deeply hurt us, and in many cases, repeat their wrongful acts. In accordance with God's principles, we must extend the gift of forgiveness to them. As we depend on God, He supplies the necessary strength to enable us to forgive, regardless of what the persons have done to us. By harbouring an unforgiving spirit, we are locking ourselves in the emotional, spiritual prison.
On the contrary, when we forgive others, we free ourselves of such imprisonment and become reflectors of the image of God. In 'a nutshell', we reap numerous benefits when we forgive. May we always be God's representatives and forgive others as He forgives us.