Forgive Us Our Trespasses

In this passage from the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus touches on one of his main goals, to make people believe in a forgiving God. In standard Christian belief, Jesus forgave the sins of the world and brought about a new covenant with God based on the forgiveness of sin rather than divine punishment. You need to ask yourself if this is what you experience. Do you feel that your past wrongdoing has been erased from your conscience? Have you forgiven others who wronged you in the past?

The teaching here is really about how to end suffering. Sin is the cause of suffering is the Christian model. You cannot be forgiven your sins, and thus released from suffering, unless you are aware that you have been forgiven. The message of forgiveness has to reach you, and that requires the removal of whatever blocks it: guilt, anger, resentment, lack of self-worth, and isolation. If these obstacles can be removed, you will experience divine forgiveness as Jesus promised it.


Guilt is a form of suffering, and the root of suffering is unreality. Jesus constantly emphasized that his listeners did not know who he was or where he came from. They were trapped in an unreal vision of God and human beings alike. To forgive yourself or anyone else, you must move in the direction of reality. As described by Jesus, what’s real is God’s love and forgiveness and the infinite worth of his children here on earth.

You need to reinforce this reality in any way you can.

Follow the Golden Rule and treat others as you would want to be treated. Be grateful for your life. Look for ways to appreciate others. All these things begin a process of purifying hidden feelings of guilt and resentment. Let those feelings come up. You don’t want to mask them over. Seeming to forgive when that is not what you really feel isn’t productive.

If there is something in your past that you feel especially guilty about, sit quietly and go through the following steps:

  • Visualize what you feel guilty about.
  • See the scene where it occurred.
  • Feel the way it felt.
  • Spend a few moments releasing your guilty feelings.
  • When you feel that you are directly confronting your guilt, tell yourself that all the images and sensations you are experiencing are nothing but memories. As such, they have no present reality.
  • Express a willingness to let go of what isn’t real.
  • Ask the old feelings and stuck energies to dissipate and return to their source.
  • Listen for a response.

Guilt, like any stuck energy, grows louder and stronger in the mind when it isn’t heeded. Don’t mistake this intensity for proof that you are bad and what you did will never be forgiven. The intensity is nothing more than a cry to get your attention. So pay attention, and as you do, express your sympathy and understanding.

Having gotten this far, you are at the point of forgiveness. You have seen that suffering is a residue from the past built up from unreleased energies. Forgiveness is actually release.

Adapted from The Third Jesus, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).

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Paula G.
Paula G.3 years ago

There are thiings that have happened in my life that I cannot find in my heart to forgive. They are quite serious. So rather than allowing them to blacken my sight I hand the situation over to God. For it is with him that the final act of forgiveness will or will not take place.

I too believe that not all things can be forgiven because the person(s) who have stabbed my soul do not recognize their wrong doing that was so dark. However, as time goes by I find more and more that I ave let go of things that I always thought would weigh me down.

heather g.
heather g.3 years ago

I haven't lived my life acquiring guilt, so today, I don't live my life carrying a burden of guilt.

However, if I'm wronged and hurt by someone's treatment, it is a wonderful release to forgive them "for they know not what they do"

Anne Mueller
Anne M.3 years ago

Half of this doesn't make sense. Thanks, David S. and Andy K., for pointing out what forgiveness really means!

Miranda Parkinson


David S.
David S.3 years ago

"certain things cannot be forgiven....BUT you have to learn to adapt and move on....when you let the pain go and have peace in your heart then your soul is pure!"

No!! Nothing can be forgiven even if you go back to the person you have wronged a thousand times. However, everything *is* forgiven if you trust Jesus' sacrifice for those sins, and THEN go back to the person you have wronged.
The grace of the gospel is that all your wrong doing is condemned by God, because only He is pure and infinitely holy. He loves you - that is why he sent his son, Jesus to die for those "unforgivable" sins. Only if you truly believe that, will ALL yo sins be forgiven. It is a free gift of God...that's the **wonder of the gospel of God's grace.**

Glenville J O.
Glenville J Owen3 years ago

Thank you for the article Deepak, forgiveness is a vital lesson we all need to learn. It's our thought-life that will determine our future happiness here on earth and later, in Heaven, as the Master Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated to all who would listen and observe.

That is why the great Paul taught the value of right thinking when he said, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

No matter what a person has done, forgiveness for our sins, our mistakes, as most sins are, can be dissolved away by putting right the mistakes, either here on earth or later in Heaven and the sooner we start, the sooner we will be free of them.

Becky Y.
Rebecca Y.3 years ago

The God Jesus talked about is the God I believe in.

Emma Rose
Emma Rose3 years ago

certain things cannot be forgiven....BUT you have to learn to adapt and move on....when you let the pain go and have peace in your heart then your soul is pure!

Emma Rose
Emma Rose3 years ago

certain things cannot be forgiven....BUT you have to learn to adapt and move on....when you let the pain go and have peace in your heart then your soul is pure!

Emma Rose
Emma Rose3 years ago

when you get to "OTHER SIDE...DEATH" you ask for forgiveness otherwsie you be sent back here again and YOU WILL GET YOUR PUNISHMENT whatever that may be......the only FORGIVENESS you will get is a bite in the BUTT!..that is why you are suppose to be "GOOD".....what you do here on earth will have consequences on the other side....ONLY THE CREATOR WILL JUDGE ...I HAVE NO GUILT !