"As we forgive"

According to Matthew's Gospel, Jesus "went up into a mountain" and taught. There on a hillside he preached a simple, stately sermon endued with the divine truth he spent all his time in demonstrating. The Master gave his hearers the Beatitudes, showing the blessedness of righteous thinking, urged upon them counsel for purer living, and then said, "After this manner therefore pray ye;" and he taught them what is known as the Lord's Prayer.

Among Jesus' disciples were many types of character; yet he gave to all the same prayer. And today men of differing character find all needs for spiritual growth and unfoldment met in this simple prayer. For everyone there is the selfless acknowledgment, "Hallowed be thy name." For all who are tossed to and fro between impatient denial and fervent acceptance there are the earnest words, "Thy will be done." For everyone, fearful for the morrow, doubtful of Love's presence, there is the trusting appeal, "Give us this day our daily bread." And the humble, gentle, and patient ones pray in the secret places of consciousness, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

"As we forgive"! How vast a wealth of instruction is contained in the word "as," indicating the readiness, manner, and degree, the fullness, of perfect forgiveness! "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors"! Here is indicated a human footstep to be taken before we can expect forgiveness from God and from our fellow men. Can we, if we have honesty of desire, ask to have our debts canceled while holding bitterly to a belief about another's debt to us? Sincerity underlies and accompanies all spiritual attainments. A person who humbly asks forgiveness desires that it shall come instantly to bind up his repentant heart. Then let us all be joyfully swift to bestow our forgiving love on another—not with the thought of its being necessary to the gaining of our own forgiveness, but only for the sweet triumph of proving the love of God in our own thought.

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March 25, 1933

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