FORGIVE SO THAT YOU CAN BE FORGIVEN!
Jesus demonstrated one of the most powerful forms of love that there is―forgiveness! While on the cross, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” In this, He was making intercession for the people who hated His soul so much that they’d elected to take His life. He said that they didn’t understand what they were doing. In this, He meant that they truly believed that killing Him was a good thing. While the act of murder is malicious, they wouldn’t have killed Him if they understood that He was and is the Son of God. They were simply bound by the spirit of religion, and because of this, anything and anyone who stood outside of their understanding seemed to present a threat to life as they knew it. And, of course, the Bible tells us that the Pharisees had been compelled by envy. They used their positions of power to convince the people that Jesus’ death was needed. Nevertheless, even in the midst of it all, Jesus forgave them. Think about that! After all, we oftentimes find ourselves upset with people who’ve simply chosen not to speak with us! And, of course, if Jesus treated us like we’d treated Him, we would all be in a lot of trouble!
Did you know that there are diseases and disorders that are attributed to unforgiveness? The following article was taken from the Counseling Directory:
“Unforgiveness is when you are unwilling or unable to forgive someone for hurting, betraying, breaking your trust or causing you intense emotional pain. Forgiving is highly recommended, as there are various researches that have been carried out which shows that unforgiveness causes health issues including:
Cancer. 61% of cancer patients have forgiveness issues.
Suppressed anger. People often get angry for any reason have issues associated with forgiveness.
Low self-esteem. Lack of self-love stem from not forgiving yourself or self-acceptance.
Bitterness can increase the risk of depression.
Constant worrying increases of the risk sleep deprivation and anxiety.
When someone has hurt or disappointed you, the logical response would be to think that you’re hurting them by not forgiving them and holding a grudge. The harsh truth is that you’re actually causing yourself more pain by holding on to the anger, and the person that you wish not to forgive has the subconscious power to control you. However, you can get disconnected from the power of control when you forgive” (Source: Unforgiveness and your health – Counselling Directory/Kate Megase).
How powerful is this truth?! God forgave us and He expects us to do the same for His people. This isn’t always easy, but it is necessary if we want to live happy and whole lives. Unforgiveness simply serves to distract us from who God is, forcing us to meditate on what someone did or did not do, or what someone said or did not say. People are people. We have to remember that every person has issues that he or she is battling with. All the same, in order to remain in forgiveness, we must love some people up close, all the while loving some people from afar. The point is―make sure that you forgive the people who’ve wronged you! If you need help doing this, be sure to consult with a therapist! Don’t rob yourself of your peace, prosperity or joy by allowing bitterness to call your heart its home!