“For if you forgive (ἀφῆτε) others their trespasses (παραπτώματα), your heavenly Father will also forgive (ἀφήσει) you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Mt 6: 14-15)
The verb used here for “forgive,” ἀφίημι, literally means “to let loose, to let go, to set free from (a thing).” I am told here, simply, to “let it go,” when confronted with another person’s “trespasses” (παραπτώματα, fallings aside, false steps). It’s divinely simple. It’s also liberating for all the “trespassers,” including me.
But of course I am tempted to say what I just said, at the beginning of this sentence: “But…”. I am tempted to build a case against the “trespasser,” pointing out where and how the “trespass” needs to be corrected or remedied. This is never simple. Nor is it liberating; It rather entangles me, and the rest of “trespassers” in my life, in an intricate net of mutual demands and expectations. In the final end it is burdensome, dull, and binds me to resentments.
Today let me take the easier, softer way, to which my Lord points me. Let me simply “let it go,” whatever I’ve been “holding” against myself or others, and see where our Lord leads us next, in His liberating grace. “Come and abide in us,” I say to Him today, to the Spirit of Truth, because my relationships become simpler and clearer when He is in the picture.