“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The disciples had just asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They must have been thunderstruck when he said those words. Jesus told them to ask the Father to forgive them in the same way that they forgive others who trespass against us.
You might very well say, “But wait, you mean my being forgiven hinges upon whether I have forgiven people who have hurt me?”
Forgiving those who have hurt us is one of the most difficult acts we humans need to learn. Being able to forgive begins to happen as a by-product of an ongoing healing process. That process includes being able to let go of feelings – whatever they are – feelings of hurt, resentment and hatred, to bitterness, anger, and the desire for revenge, to shame and the determination not to be vulnerable anymore.
Forgiveness is difficult. To be able to forgive does involve a stage of healing,...