One of the first things Jesus said whilst He was on the cross dying as the substitute for mankind and its mistakes, we find in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where it seems like the world is totally against you? Have you ever felt like those around you have just completed a seminar entitled “How to Destroy the Life of (insert name here)”? Without any doubt, I would say that around 95% of all our worries are relationally related.
Today I want to convince you that forgiveness of others is not just a good idea, but a lifesaver. My pastor once told me that “unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. In the Journal of Applied Sciences 2009, Vol.9, Issue 19, pgs. 3598-3601, it says, “Forgiveness of self and others has been the most powerful predictor of both depression and suicide ideation”. MD, David Servan-Schreiber, from AntiCancer said, “In nurturing a patient's will to live, the first step is locating and treating past traumas. These poorly healed scars drain a significant portion of energy, and they hamper the body’s capacity for self-defense”. Forgiveness of others and of self is essential to a full and healthy life. Jesus wasn’t just modelling a good idea, He was setting us up for an existence of ‘Life, Light and Increase’. Forgiveness is not weakness, forgiveness is not saying what they did was OK. Forgiveness is simply releasing the person who hurt you of any payment or retaliation. Forgiveness is not just a good practice, but also good for your health.
I love what Everett Worthington, PhD, says, “Chronic unforgiveness causes stress. Every time people think of their transgressor, their body responds. Decreasing your unforgiveness cuts down on your health risk. Now, if you can forgive, that can actually strengthen your immune system.”
What an amazing discovery!
Ephesians 4:32 reminds us to be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. So not only is the forgiveness of others good for your present situation, it seems to be good for your afterlife situation aswell... win win I say. Let today be a day where you release people from bitterness and begin to live a healthier life.