In what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus told us to pray the following:
…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.*
Here’s a thought about forgiveness from a good friend of mine.
“Forgiveness is the central issue in any relationship; especially in the divine-human relationship. Without forgiveness on God’s part there is no love relationship possible between any human and God since the fear of rejection and punishment must first be cast out (1John). This is what forgiveness does.
Jesus changed our thinking and understanding about forgiveness. When he says to the paralytic, “your sins are forgiven” he is discounting the whole God given process of going to the temple, buying an animal, finding a priest, confessing the sin, cutting its throat, having the priest take the blood and do something with it and then being pronounced forgiven. No wonder Jesus was accused of blasphemy. How could he defy the whole God-given system that had been in operation for at least a thousand years?
Most Christians do not get this as they think forgiveness is earned by confession which is the same “temple” ritual in another guise. It is tragic and terrible since the Lamb of God is thus devalued; this one sacrifice that covered or forgave all sin.
The central part of the gospel is that God has forgiven our sins and we are thus to forgive all others who sin against us.”
That took me a while to digest so let me sum it up in a simple statement:
A forgiven heart is a forgiving heart.