Jun 6, 2023
One of the most corrosive elements in the human character is unforgiveness. Bitterness and fighting in relationships is really a drain. Physically and emotionally, we’re simply not wired to survive long-term problems in this area.
According to Dr. Michael Berry, 61% of cancer patients have forgiveness issues. And Dr. Karen Schwartz of the Johns Hopkins Hospital confirms that the hurt and disappointment associated with forgiveness issues can spike incidents of heart disease, depression, and diabetes. On the other hand, forgiveness calmed stress levels, leading to improved health.
The Bible tells us that we can make the decision to forgive when someone wrongs us. And Colossians 3:13 we read, “Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others.” Did you notice that? We should basically cut each other some slack.
We all fail, but making a choice to let it go, especially with an individual, will benefit everyone. Your own stress will melt away. It's like a gift you can give yourself.
In a Focus on the Family article by Rose Sweet, we find this key piece of wisdom that can unlock our inability to forgive: “Forgiveness is returning to God the right to take care of justice. By refusing to transfer the right to exact punishment or revenge, we are telling God we don't trust him to take care of those matters.”
So you see, it's not really so much about the person who wronged you, it's more about your refusal to let God handle it. By doing that, by letting God handle it, taking that critical step, we can step into the freedom that God had waiting for us the whole time. Your physical health will improve, but that pales in comparison to the improvement in your spiritual health.
God, an unforgiving spirit is so hard to carry. Help us see daily that we can choose to forgive just like you chose to forgive us. In Jesus' name, amen.