FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us (Matthew 6:12).
This clause is the running point of the Prayer. It is the strategic key. Having told us what God is, how the universe works, how we are to do our own work, what our true nourishment or supply is, and the way in which we can obtain it, he now comes to the forgiveness of sins.
The forgiveness of sins is the central problem of life. Sin is a sense of separation from God, and is the major tragedy of human experience. It is, of course, rooted in selfishness. It is essentially an attempt to gain some suppose good to which we are not entitled in justice. It is a sense of isolated, self-regarding, personal existence, whereas the Truth of Being is the all is One. Our true selves are at One with God, undivided from Him, expressing His ideas, witnessing to His nature. Because we are all one with the great Whole of which we are spiritually a part, it follows that we are one with all men.
Evil, sin, the fall of man, in fact, is essentially the attempt to negate this Truth. We try to live apart from God. We act as though we could have plans and purposes and interests separate from him. All this, if it were true, would mean that existence is not one and harmonious, but a chaos of competition and strife. But, of course, it is not true, and therein lies the joy of life.
© 1931 by Emmet Fox
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