12 “... and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Matthew 6:12 (ESV)
Guilty. It’s a word none of like to hear, but a word that accurately describes every person on earth.
High-profile athlete scandals involving P.E.D.’s, domestic abuse, sexual infidelity and the like draw attention away from the rest of us, but the rest of us are not immune. Regardless of the magnitude of our sin, we all fall short of God’s glorious standard of perfection (Romans 3:23). Righteousness just doesn’t come naturally to us, despite our best efforts to do good (Romans 3:10-12).
It turns out, guilt comes with a price. Athlete, sin racks up a debt so enormous (spiritually speaking) that no amount of goodness, no amount of generosity is ever enough to pay it off.
So we’re left to ask God to do for us what we could never do for ourselves.
When we ask Him to forgive our sin-debt, we’re not just asking Him to forget about it or simply write it off; we’re asking Him to pay it. And that is exactly what Jesus was doing when He laid down His life on the cross.
As a result, everyone who asks Jesus to pay their debt for them will be forgiven and forever adopted into the family of God (Romans 10:13). Out of gratitude, forgiven people become forgiving people, extending the same grace and mercy to others that they have received from God.
Have you asked God, completely apart from your own performance, to forgive your sin once and for all? Do you daily acknowledge those thoughts, words and deeds for which Christ died? Have you let go of your right to punish those who have offended you in the same way that God mercifully forgave your offenses against Him?
It is here, and only here, that the freedom from guilt we so desperately desire can truly be found.