Other People's Shoes
"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." Matthew 6:14 NRSV
Have you ever worn another person's shoes? Even if they're the correct length and width, they feel different. There's more to our feet than just dimensions. The shape of our toes and the arch of our feet also make a difference. How we walk determines the wear and balance of the heels and soles. Lastly, even if the shoes are a perfect fit, psychologically, we know the shoes aren't ours. Even briefly donning those shoes, we appreciate the other person differently. The longer we wear them, the deeper that understanding grows.
Forgiveness is like donning other people's shoes. We know what we like and want. We expect God to forgive us, and we rely on that pardon like we trust the feel of our old comfortable shoes. But God wants us to put on other people's shoes, though it might be uncomfortable. To move from the expectation of solely what we desire to appreciate that others want the same. They, too, want forgiveness–our forgiveness, and it's something we must give. In the next verse, Jesus says, "but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Lord, help us to appreciate the shoes in which others walk. To acknowledge that we all do things to create hurt. Let us be quick in forgiving others so we may, too, be pardoned. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray.