Theology | Christian Forgiveness

Christian Forgiveness

© 2022 by Vernon Miles Kerr and

The so-called “Lord’s Prayer” in the Christian Gospel (Good News) was simply an outline that Jesus gave, in answer to a question: “Lord, how should we pray?”

Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

As we forgive our debtors..” How many loans to clients, family or friends have you “forgiven,” just, written-off, forgotten about, without any plans to collect?

The Catholic Bible renders the same scripture as follows:

Our Father who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, 

Thy will be done

on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us,

Still, “as we forgive those..” implies a condition. Just like the King James Version ,(KJV) “as we forgive our debtors.” implies forgiveness of debt. “Trespasses” is even broader, it logically includes any slight — whether emotional, territorial, or monetary.

Christians I’ve known are all about being forgiven of their sins. It’s the primary benefit flowing from being a Christian — especially if one beleves that the admission to Heaven is conditioned upon being “washed clean by the blood of Christ.”

But, allegorically, what happens when one appears at Heaven’s Gate and is asked, “Have you forgiven everyone who has ever hurt you? Is there anyone against whom you still harbor resentment?”


But the Lord’s Prayer isn’t about the future, it’s about the present. When you kneel to pray, do you probe deep down into your own psyche, trying to find that tiny bit of “leavening,” that tiny little crumb of resentment toward someone who has hurt you?

If I’m reqading it right, Matthes 6:9 thru 13, says “If you haven’t, just live in your guilt a bit longer. Come back when you have.”