Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Forgive us Our Debts

A number of years ago when one of my children was battling through a tough stint in school, I was at a loss as to how I could affect their marks in a certain subject. I thought that perhaps it was just a bit of laziness. Knowing that I would be within earshot, I spoke a few harsh conclusions to Joleen about what I thought might be the problem. I realized almost immediately after I said them that they were potentially very hurtful words but I could not retrieve them. The damage was done. This became more apparent as time went on. Even though I asked forgiveness for the things I said (several years.. yes years later), I often ponder with regret those brief moments when I could have chosen my words more carefully.
Praise God for His daily invitation for forgiveness. He does not harbour judgment against us. He is always willing to extend forgiveness to us. We must ask, though. This can be humbling, but necessary because it can be pride that prevents us from asking and receiving forgiveness. Pride can convince us of our own righteousness... That's not something that I want to be convinced of.
The final detail to this transaction between repentance and forgiveness is our own culture of forgiveness towards others. Our inspiration is clearly stated in the verses following the Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6: 14-15). If we forgive others, then our Heavenly Father will forgive us. And because I know the extent of what I need forgiveness for, that should be a no-brainer!