“And forgive us our debts” – Q&A #2

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And Love is reflected in love;

Question: What are “debts” and “debtors”?

Answer: A debt is something that is owed to another. In other words, it is something that is expected to be given. In addition to owing debts, you may have heard the term owe in phrases such as “owing a favor,” “owing an apology,” or just plain “you owe me!” These all
indicate that something owed is expected in return for something given.

In the Bible, the term debt is a Jewish figure for sins. It represents those things that people should have done, but did not, rather than those things they did that were simply immoral or illegal. As an example: have you ever been angry with a friend who said they would call you by a certain time, and then did not? You feel disappointed by this lack of courtesy. This
becomes a “debt” in your mind, and your friend has now become your “debtor.” You must
be willing to forgive.

Likewise, we want to try our best not to become indebted to others by being indifferent to their needs. The Bible teaches:

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” (Prov. 3:27)

A good Bible story to read to understand this idea is found in Matthew 18:23-35. It is about a servant who was forgiven his debt, but then refused to forgive another a debt owed him. The story did not end well for the unmerciful servant!

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Rom. 13:8) 

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Forgive #2



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