Thursday, October 18, 2012

Trespasses or Debts

The Lord's prayer:

"forgive us our trespasses as we have forgiven those who trespass against us"
"forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors"

Trespasses or debts.

To trespass means that we have violated the rights of another person.
The most common use of this term is to go on to someone's land without permission, to violate their private property.
To ask for forgiveness for our trespasses is to ask to be forgiven for the way that we have wronged others.  To forgive people for their trespasses is to forgive people for how they have violated our rights.
This is very important, extremely important.

To be in debt means that you owe someone something. 
We could be in debt to someone because we have been bad.  Throwing a brick through someone's window for example.
Of course we can also be in debt for a neutral reason.  I am in debt to the bank, not because I am bad but because they hold the mortgage to my house.
Or we can be in debt to someone because they are good.  When someone helps us we feel that we are in their debt.  Someone helps you move and you feel like you need to pay them back some how.  We become indebted to others because of their goodness.

"forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors"

Stop trying to pay God back for his goodness.  Just accept that he is good and he loves you.  
Bless and encourage people without expecting them to pay you back.  Just bless because you are filled with love.

** Interesting side note: I cannot find an English translation that has trespasses, they all say debts.  As far as I can tell trespasses comes for the book of common prayer put out by the Anglican Church.  I have no idea why it says trespass.

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