And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ‘ For 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, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Mat 6:12-15 NIV)
Forgiveness is a two-way street, to be forgiven you need to forgive—unconditionally and with grace and mercy. That shouldn’t be difficult seeing that we are made in the image and likeness of God. I believe that when man(kind) was in the garden, God provided man(kind) with all that he/she would ever need, and that had they continued to eat from the Tree of Life, they would have enjoyed the fullness of abundant life. However, they chose to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Having done so, the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever “– (Gen 3:22 NKJ) The problem was not so much that man now knew good and evil, it was the fact that knowing the two he would put himself as both judge and jury, neither of which he would do with the same sense of justice with which God judges. Man made his choice; he chose ‘godlessness.’
That’s why Jesus tells us to ask God’s help when we hear the serpent speaking to us, and not to fall for or listen to his advice. The Devil will tell you to judge, condemn, criticize, and give you ten reasons why you shouldn’t forgive your enemies. Jesus wants us to not only forgive but to love our enemies, so that we may be debt free and forgiven.