What Does Jesus Want Us to Forgive?

In my post Be Careful What You Pray I mention a line in the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Different groups have different wording for this line. There are three I’ve run into:

1) “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” The word debt, conjures up thoughts of loans and money. That limits what Jesus meant and isn’t helpful.

2) “Forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The word trespass evokes walking uninvited on someone’s property. That’s not helpful either. (However, the dictionary gives a broader understanding for both these words.)

3) “Forgive our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” To me, sin is the word that conveys the full impact of this phrase, but I understand some people are put off by that word.

I recently heard a fourth version, which I like for its clarity:

4) “Forgive us for the wrongs we have done, as we have forgiven those who have wronged us.”

That connects with me. I hope one of these four versions connects with you. Now we just need to pray it — and do it.

[Matthew 6:12]

What do you think? Please leave a comment!