"and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” (Luke 11:4 ESV)
Have you ever thought about why we would need pray about forgiving others? That is because it is one of the hardest things to do. That is because even though we say we forgive someone, we tend not to do a complete forgiveness, just in case they do it again. This is what leads to bitterness, anger, resentment and other emotional sins.
I knew all the verses about forgiving. Would tell you that I forgave my dad, yet deep down inside the bitterness grew and grew. Have you ever tried to keep track of 70x7? I did because I felt like then when my dad reached 491, I had done my job and it would all fall on him. Never could remember what number I was on. Yet, I held on to that he better not do it again and the bitterness grew.
When we go to God for forgiveness of our sins, He wipes them out as far as the east in from the west. Not as far as the north is from the south. That is because you can only go so far north before you start going south. However, if you go east there is no point to when you start going west, you will always go east.
I love this verse in Isaih for it is so insight ice into God's heart; "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins." (Isaiah 43:25 NKJV). Since God forgives us for His sake and remembers what our sin was anymore; what an example for us to follow.
Could you imagine with me what kind of love it would be if God were to forgive us with a "Well, don't let it happen again.", type of attitude. Then we commit the same sin again and because He remembered when we did it before, we are crushed under His thumb. I know that is a little far fetched but you get the just of it.
For His sake He forgives. For by forgiving and remembering no more, frees Him up to love us unconditionally. He won't become bitter, and angry with us.
What does that do for us? We are able to come before Him confident that He loves us. We don't have to live in fear of His wrath poured out on us. We can come to Him anytime seeking forgiveness.
How much more do we need to forgive those around us? If God needs to for His sake then we need His help to for our sake. So that the relationships involved can heal. So we can heal emotionally and spiritually. In Matthew 6 after the Lord's Prayer, Jesus goes on to say that if we don't forgive others then God can't forgive us. We need to forgive others just like God and not hold back any just in case, because that just in case is not true forgiveness.