Being forgiving is a disposition that brings benefits to Believers in spirit, soul and body. They know that their Father's forgiveness is absolute.
However, as Jesus emphatically there's the condition that if a Believer witholds forgiveness from others our heavenly Father witholds forgiveness from us.
Going to God for forgiveness is not an uncommon thing. But do Believers examine themselves before asking?
Jesus emphasised the attitude, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors".
Obviously Jesus wanted His People to think this way, so He explained it more fully at the end of His teaching on the manner of praying.
"... if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6'14-15).
At the Lord's Supper Believers are called to think about this:
"... let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
For he who eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world," 1 Corinthians 11'28-32.
This point alone makes a person unworthy to partake. Of course, often this has to be a dispostion because forgiveness can only be given when the one who has committed the offence asks.
Amazingly, the Lord leaves us the privilege, and the blessing, of judging ourselves.
Although there are other reasons for Believers to examine themselves, forgiving can be the most challenging, especially if the offender is someone close.
And the requirement to forgive can seem unreasonable because of the harm the other person has inflicted.
But by putting this condition in place, the Lord shows that He is aware of how serious the personal consequences are - not to mention the wider ill-effects.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another,
just as God in Christ forgave you.