“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us.”
Someone (I think it was John C Maxwell) once said: “Hurt people hurt people and are easily hurt by people.”
There are a lot of hurt people around us who are easily hurt by others and knowingly or unknowingly, they hurt others too. This is why this part of the Lord’s Prayer is so critically important, asking the Lord to forgive us what we have done wrong and resolving in our hearts to do likewise and forgive those who have wronged and hurt us.
It is not an easy thing to do, which is why it is our prayer. We really need the Lord to transform us by His love and power so that we have the capacity to forgive those who hurt us.
I am not always a good man, not only in the sight of God but also in the eyes of people around me. And I need to remember that I only get to do what I do daily in my vocation because of God’s amazing grace without which I am nothing. He forgave me so that I can love and forgive others. He died for me, I’ll live for Him.
The starting point is knowing that we, sinful as we are, have first been forgiven. As recipients of God’s grace, we are to give grace to our offenders. Then, only then, the world will be a better place, and the church, a better church!