“If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, neither will your Father forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
When Jesus teaches His disciples to pray for forgiveness, He adds the verses quoted above. We cannot receive forgiveness for ourselves while refusing to forgive others.
To illustrate this, Jesus tells a parable about a servant who owes the king a huge sum of money. His master forgives him this debt. On his way home, the man meets a fellow servant who owes him a small amount of money. The fellow servant pleads for patience since he can’t pay his debt right now. But the first servant, who has been forgiven so much himself, refuses to have mercy and puts the other man in prison until he pays the debt. When the king hears about this, he is indignant about the servant’s attitude and blames him, “Should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (Matthew 18:33).
This is a warning example for us. If we have received undeserved forgiveness from God, we should also have mercy on other people who have wronged us and ask us to forgive them. For if we are not ready to forgive others, how would we dare to ask God to forgive us?
Is there anybody you need to forgive?