Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trail and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.
Every time I pray the Lord’s Prayer, I lie. I don’t mean to, but if I’m being honest with myself, there are words I say that I wish weren’t true.
The biggest lie I tell is this: “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” Why is this a lie? Because if God forgave me like I forgave other people, then God would never forgive me. And I really, really want God to forgive me regardless of how or if I forgive others.
I am terrible at forgiveness. I’ll try to justify myself by saying that I don’t let people’s words and actions hurt me enough to warrant forgiveness–I’ll just brush it off and move on. But that’s an excuse I use to mask my inability to forgive.
“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” If God forgives me, I and I believe God does, then I need to forgive others. It’s not optional. When Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan, he asked which of the men in the story was a good neighbor to the man beaten on the side of the road. When the lawyer answered, “The one who showed him mercy,” Jesus replied, “Go and do likewise.”
I need to stop lying and “go and do likewise.” And in the meantime, I’ll keep saying the Lord’s Prayer, emphasizing the parts with which I struggle the most, and hoping that one day, I will catch on.