Forgiveness is an art of expression and a condition of the heart. It’s how you move from one phase of your life to the next without the heaviness and burdens of rage. When a person is offended or hurt by an offense, the faster you concede that forgiveness and wave the white flag, the sooner you can heal and move on.
Think of your forgiveness journey as a courtroom case where you are the plaintiff, and GOD is the Judge. You won’t lose the case as long as your Judge (Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior) determines the outcome and makes the final ruling, as he will. The Jury is your Angels who are assigned to work everything out in your favor, even those things that you may have faltered at and don’t deserve. The grace of GOD rules both this scenario, but most importantly, in reality.
Forgiveness cleanses the soul! It removes hatred, retaliation, and the human desire to want your enemy destroyed. When you think about it, harboring unforgiveness in your heart evokes further pain. Not just physical pain, but the emotional pain that invades your physical body, ultimately affecting your health, emotional and mental recovery, and breakthrough. Unforgiveness happens when you are either unwilling or unable to forgive someone for the hurting, betraying, or breaking your heart. It’s the ultimate fight or flight decision that only you can make.
Here are some shocking statistics. According to MBACP K.M., 61% of Cancer patients have “Forgiveness” issues. Based on John Hopkins School of Medicine, “Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and immune response.” Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease, and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health. Additionally, unforgiveness has also been associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep deprivation, anxiety, and more. The human and logical reactions are to withhold forgiveness, expressing your rage, and forcing the offender to face your wrath.
However, the wisdom of GOD teaches us that without forgiveness, we forfeit the very forgiveness that GOD has afforded to us, reducing GOD’s forgiveness towards us to judgment. GOD never said you weren’t hurt or that the actions of the person didn’t cause you pain; he simply said, “Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Ephesians 4:31-32 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you. Matthew 6:14-15- For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
The Bible never said that forgiveness was easy. It is a decision however that is within your control and requires you to let go of the feeling that you have to get revenge. Offenses happen for many reasons, and some we personally play a part in through the error of our way. Then there are those offenses where we were violated by a stranger, loved one, or friend, that left emotional scars of devastation; even so, forgiveness is the path to healing.