“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.”

I am so happy to be a Christian. I am so happy that the Lord has given us such a high standard by which to live. Honestly, I’m just stunned about what the Lord teaches us and expects from us. Anyone who has even a passing understanding of what Jesus taught should be challenged down to his or her core. Let’s look at a few of the New Testament commands that are just impossible for us to live up to.

“Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” That’s a nice place to start, don’t you think? Perfection. Sure. No problem.

“Love your enemies.” How’s that going for you? Got a problem with Muslims? Anybody here signing up to go to a Muslim country to go serve them or bring the Gospel to them? And this is a command for a Christian to seriously consider as they ponder whether he or she should go fight in a war. Easy answers? I haven’t got any.

The chapter that defines love, First Corinthians 13. A list of attributes, every one of which I must write “fail” next to. However, as much as this chapter challenges me, it also encourages me. God is love. Therefore, these are also God’s characteristics. God is patient. God is kind. His love never fails. Good news, that.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Um, I don’t do that.

And this brings us back to where this post began—another extremely difficult command: Forgive those who have sinned against you. I don’t know about you, but this has been hard for me to do down through the years. Sometimes I’m better at it than others. However, some hurtful things just seem to linger for a very long spell—too long, from my perspective. Some of these issues I pray about daily.

Jesus is my only hope in these matters—all of them, listed above. The bar is just too high for me to reach. The result of this is that it drives me to humility and prayer. It causes me to see how far I am from reaching the mark. So, I’m stupendously grateful for His grace, mercy and forgiveness. If my righteousness and relationship with God were based upon my ability to keep just these four commands, I’d be in very dark and deep weeds.

Father, please forgive me for my inability to live as You have ordained. Please help me forgive those who have sinned against me.