And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing. [ But if you don’t forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your wrongdoing.]”
Jesus theology on forgiveness is clear and uncomfortable. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Withhold forgiveness and it will be withheld from you. It is a terrifying proposition that we do not like in most instances. He implies that the forgiveness He expects us to show to others is the forgiveness we have received and hope to continue to receive from Him. It is the fruit we should be producing. This is no small order. However, it only makes perfect sense. Forgive as you have been forgiven for you will only be forgiven your sins as you forgive others sins against you. His command is clear and simple; yet difficult, especially in the context of those who are closest to us.
Lord Jesus, change our hearts toward those who are closest to us. Deliver us from the hardness that is often created by familiarity. Teach us to grant forgiveness to everyone who sins against us as we have received Your forgiveness.