So the first post officially on this blog is here! I figured this topic was most relevant for me personally because when I first became a Christian I was faced with forgiveness. It’s one of the first things I had to learn and so I thought I’d share all my findings with the general public. By the name of this post, as you guess, is about forgiveness. I want to start this post by saying thank you to everyone who reads this and I hope you enjoy what I have conjured up. I’ll remind you at the end, but don’t forget to follow this blog by hitting the “follow” button on the right of this post, or page, wherever you are currently.
Lets jump in with both feet…
Forgiveness is important, Jesus spoke about the importance of forgiving one another, let’s make some things clear.
- Not forgiving someone is bad for your health
- People who forgive are less likely to develop heart disease
- People who forgive are more likely to be happy
- People who forgive are more likely to feel satisfied with their life.
- Not forgiving someone can also cause depression, in males its seven times more likely to cause depression, though women tend to hold on to grudges more than men.
- Not forgiving someone really doesn’t make sense, the reason?
- The person you have a grudge with may not even remember what happened, that it happened or that they hurt your feelings.
- You aren’t doing what your heavenly father wants you to do.
As I mentioned before it affects your health. In truth not forgiving someone actually does more damage to you than the other person. You are destroying your body, mind and soul by holding onto grudges. I came up with an idea that seemed to apply to a story of my own…
Before I became a Christian, one of my best friends (we’ll call him Dave) and I got in a huge fight. I cannot remember now what it was about, but it really put a sour taste in my mouth. I was finished; I didn’t want anything to do with him unless he apologized for his actions. The problem was, in his perspective, I was the one who needed to apologize. After giving my life to Christ and getting baptized it suddenly dawned on me what had been happening. Anger was taking over my life (I’ll be doing a post on Anger in the near future); I started judging people, more him than others but still! I fell into a pit of darkness, but when I started reading up on forgiveness, I made a pact to let it all go. I told Dave I forgave him and the fight wouldn’t come between us. Ever since then we’ve been great.
So I came up with this…
Not Forgiving = Anger = Judging = Negativity = General Judging = General Negativity
It’s a spiral of hate. If you know Star Wars than you know the path to the dark side as much as I do (though it’s not all correct). So when you aren’t forgiving someone, not only are you putting wrath (God doesn’t favor this), Judging (or this) and bad health on your plate (this either) you are also not showing mercy! (God is merciful; he doesn’t like the vengeful either). You are creating a path away from God in your un-forgiveness. So now we have these huge negatives…
- You’re hurting your health
- You’re being wrathful (angry)
- You’re not showing mercy
- The other person probably doesn’t have any clue you have a grudge (This doesn’t mean go out and show them you do).
- Most importantly you’re walking away from God! On three levels!
Because you are walking away from God you are keeping yourself from being in Gods presence. You are also not allowing yourself to be forgiven for your sins, which puts you another step away from God!
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25 (NIV)
We are also told to be merciful and that we will be blessed if we are merciful.
“Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” Pro 11:17 (NIV)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Mt 5:7 (NIV)
Moving on from your walk with God, let’s see some of the consequences from now forgiving in different situations.
- The Work Environment
- First, it affects your job performance. While this should be to the point, if you walk around angry, hating life you won’t want to feel like working and your performance could dramatically fall from productivity and may even lead to you being fired.
- Divides other relationships in the work place. It doesn’t just affect you. If you have a friend who likes you more than your ‘enemy’ and the enemy has a friend then it becomes an all out war!
- It also causes awkward moments if you get stuck in a shift with your enemy or you end up having to work with them.
- If your grudge leads to depression, imagine how miserable you will be! Not only that but you are making your spouse miserable and you have to see and live with this person every day!
- This too can divide relationships if you have children and of course your families can go at war. Mother in law Vs. Mother etc.
- More fights, and nobody enjoys fighting with their spouse.
- Higher chance of divorce = less money for you and it would also force you to start over completely. Back to an apartment it is.
- Finally, you aren’t living the married life God wants for you and your spouse. If anything it should be you, your spouse and God vs. The world.
The Misconception About Forgiveness
As Doctor Loren Toussaint puts it, “People think that pardoning someone’s misbehavior means either condoning it, which makes you accomplice, or giving in to it, which mean you’re a doormat. In reality, the ability to forgive means that you rise above the conflict as a way of taking care of yourself.” And to add to that, get right with God and allow him to forgive you.
You Can Do it, be willing to save your Life!
Dr. Toussaint says, “In order to forgive you don’t have to let go of your opinions about someone’s attitudes or actions you just have to let go of the anger, frustration, or sadness that’s eating you away.”
In Luke it says, “Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent’, you must forgive them.” 17:14 (NIV)
The Ability is there
“Be kind to one another, forgive each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph. 4:32 (NIV)
To put this verse into perspective…
We are asked to forgive like the father forgives us. If God can forgive EVERY Christian, EVERY day, for EVERY sin, than we can forgive someone for their actions, mistakes and words.
How to Forgive
- Pray, ask God for help. Ask for him to help you forgive and for him to forgive them as well.
- Ask God to forgive you for all you’ve done.
- Realize all the hate you feel towards the enemy doesn’t hurt them whatsoever.
- Find the silver lining (make a list if you need to)
- Look at the big picture
- Stop speaking about what happened
- Direct your thinking
- Make a conscious decision to forgive the other person.
Some Homework Readings
- Colossians 3:13
- Romans 14:13
- 1 Corinthians 4:5
- James 4:12
- Proverbs 3:3
- Micah 6:8
That brings today to a conclusion. I hope that you find insight in what I have written and I hope that you can find a way to forgive those who have walked over you or hurt your feelings. If you like this post, leave a comment expressing topics you would like to read about and also click ‘follow’ to the right of the post to subscribe. Thank you and God bless you.
The Holy Bible, New International Version