"and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors" Matthew 6:12
He forgave us our debts, the sin that separates us from relationship with Him, a debt that could only be satisfied by the death of His son.
Because He forgave, He calls us to forgive.
"Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?...
I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven" Matthew 18:21-22
When Peter asked Jesus how often He was suppose to forgive, he THOUGHT he was being overly generous by saying seven, since in the Jewish law they forgave someone three times. But Jesus says 70x7... basically, continue forgiving someone no matter how often they hurt you. Because, He forgives us over and over and over.
"Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned,
forgive and you will be forgiven... For with the measure you use it will be measured
back to you." Luke 6: 37-38
God wants us not to harbor anger or hold something against someone...., but to have a heart of continual forgiveness. Because, when we forgive, He will richly bless us.
"And Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" Luke 23:24a
Think about it, If Jesus can forgive those who nailed Him to a cross, how much more should I forgive others?
"bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each
other; as the Lord has forgiven you so you must also forgive" Colossians 3:13
How can I think of not forgiving someone when, by Gods love, grace and mercy, I have been given WAY more then I deserve?
So, we must forgive.... because we received forgiveness at the cross. In forgiving, we set our hearts free from anger and bitterness.