Forgive Others—Gospel Reflection on Matthew 6:14
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
The Lord Jesus teaches us to learn to forgive others. If we are able to excuse others for their mistakes, the Lord will also excuse us. In real life, when others wound our interests by their words or deeds, we are easy to bear a grudge against them. The Lord’s intention is to allow us to be tolerant and forgiving of others with a loving heart. About this, it is recorded in the Bible, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Mat 18:21-22). What is the true meaning of the Lord’s requirement of us in these verses? God says, “The purpose achieved by the number in this expression is to allow people to understand the Lord Jesus’ intention at the time that He said this. His intention was that people should forgive others—not once or twice, and not even seven times, but seventy times seven. What kind of idea is this ‘seventy times seven’? It is to get people to make forgiveness their own responsibility, something they must learn, and a way they must keep. Even though this was just an expression, it served as a crucial point. It helped people deeply appreciate what He meant and find the proper ways of practice and the principles and standards in practice. This expression helped people understand clearly and gave them an accurate concept that they should learn forgiveness—to forgive without conditions and without limitations, but with an attitude of tolerance and understanding for others.”
From this passage, God asks us to forgive without conditions and limitations, and to make forgiveness our responsibility. If we say we want to forgive others but still bear a grudge against them, such feigned forgiveness is not in line with God’s will. Only by putting aside our prejudice or grudge toward others can we be after God’s heart.