Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, and focuses their attention on the vital relationship between God and His people: “Our Father, who art in Heaven…” That relationship is central to prayer and could make one believe that the life of a Christian is one that is lived out “just between me and God.”
However, the prayer goes on to highlight another relationship, and directly links the vertical aspect of faith in God with the horizontal aspect of faith in relation to others. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The link is made between faith and real human relationships. Faith is lived our not just with those who are kind and loving toward us, but also to those who have sinned against us. How we treat others, especially our enemies, is a large part of living as a follower of Jesus.
On the cross Jesus poured out forgiveness. The whole world receives his love. He carried the sin of individuals like the thief, the soldiers, and even those who gave the command to have him killed. For God so loved the world that he sent Jesus. With that mindset the followers of Jesus live out their faith by looking for opportunities to forgive. In the midst of real, human, and broken relationships God works to bring about restoration through forgiveness.
Don’t fall into the misunderstanding that Faith is just between you and God. Keep your eyes open for those in your life who are also in need of God’s love. Then speak it, show it, and live it.