If you forgive men for their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14
Jesus speaks in harmony with the prophet Micah, who also says that we are to “love mercy.” They both teach us that we are not just to love receiving mercy, but also to love being merciful enough to forgive others. In fact, if we want God to mercifully answer our prayers, we must forgive. For forgiveness from the Father is necessary before he can answer our prayers for mercy from him. Whether our friends or our enemies do us harm, Jesus’ promise takes away the burden of pretending we are God. For every sin against us is even more a sin against the Father. What a relief! So if we truly desire that God’s reputation will be valued more than our own, then we can forgive this way. For then we will trust him to heal our hurts while he stands against those who do us harm. As we place our vindication in his hands, we affirm our dependence on him to do everything necessary for our good, including forgiving us.
Father, I gladly release my enemies from their debt of honor to me. For I trust you to see justice done both for me and for you. Thank you for this promise that sets me free from being the judge. Amen.