The Golden Rule of God's Forgiveness

Most of the time we ignore this addition to The Lord's Prayer as we find it in Matthew. It's an uncomfortable codicil that we'd rather not deal with.

"Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, you heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sin, your Father will not forgive your sins." —Matthew 6:12-15 (Emphasis mine)

Masticating these verses would take much more space that this short blog post can give, but here's the gist. Placement is everything here; notice how the phrase about temptation and being delivered from Satan is tucked between the two statements on forgiveness, like peanut butter between two slices of bread. We ask God for forgiveness, but while we are unwilling to forgive whatever anyone else has done to us, the evil one rejoices—we have succumbed to the temptation to refuse to do for others what God has done for us. And while we have unconfessed sin in our lives, God can't forgive us.

The consequences? We miss out on the fullest of the blessings He has to offer us, robbed of full fellowship with Him, joy, peace, and all the other things He longs to shower on the fully committed life.

The Golden Rule (with a slight adjustment) applies here. If you and I really want to fully enjoy all God has for us we need to "do unto others what we would have God do unto us."


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