After Jesus gives us a model for prayer, He seems to expound a bit on one portion of it, forgiveness. He says:
We all know what forgive means, we may not like it, but we know. Most people, even non Christians, know we SHOULD forgive, but we also know how hard it is to do. If you want to read more about Forgiveness, check out Forgive and Forget for the Forgiver and Forgiveness and Grace for the Forgiven.
The second half of this sentence points out how God has forgiven us. But the next sentence carries a little punch to it.
15 But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.
Ouch! So our forgiveness is related to our forgiveness. O.o The blood of Christ is our salvation and it’s free, however, there are still requirements on our part. A freed prisoner isn’t truly free until he walks out of the cell. Jesus opens the jail door with His sacrifice and resurrection, it’s up to us to walk through the door.
Part of walking through that door has to do with forgiving others. Unforgiveness keeps us in bondage. It effects how we view the world, the people around us, and things we experience. And, according to Jesus, it effects whether God will forgiveness us.
So, time for some examination of your heart … is there anyone you need to forgive?