(Matthew 6:14-15 MSG)
In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.
We live in a world full of sin. We are each contributors to this bank of sin. Jesus, the Son of God, took all this sin upon himself and gave his life to put this sin to death. The blood Jesus shed on the cross has covered our sins. Jesus went through all of this so that God our Father could offer forgiveness to all who would believe. This is the good news of Christianity. We can be forgiven of all our sins.
I believe, therefore, all of my sins are forgiven. Now that I have received forgiveness, Jesus tells me that I should offer the same to those who sin against me. I didn’t do anything to earn God’s forgiveness, so I conclude that those who sin against me don’t have to earn my forgiveness. I should give it freely.
Now, let’s take a moment to look at unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is a burden – just like sin is a burden. It ways upon our souls, distorts our judgements, and hurts our hearts. There is a reason that Jesus wants us to forgive others. It frees us from that burden – just like God’s forgiveness frees us from our burden of sin.
God our Father wants us to be free. He went to a lot of trouble to provide us freedom. Unforgiveness puts us back in the mire, and we lose what God wants for us.
For further reading see “The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant” in Matthew 18:21-35.