Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 6.10.15 – Three Benefits of Forgiveness

forgive

I remember in my “Introduction to Counseling” class lectures in recent school work, the topic turned to dealing with anger.

Anger arises as differences settle, unresolved. I kept waiting for a brilliant insight regarding helping people deal with anger. The professor shot that down, pinpointing only one main way through anger: forgiveness.

Marriage, family, co-workers, neighbors, or any relationship affected by conflict must have forgiveness as a major component of the plan to move forward.

Tonight I’ll take a stab at three benefits of displaying forgiveness.

1. Forgiveness reminds us of our imperfections.

While we may feel perfect at times, or at least perfectly capable to judge those who have offended us, giving forgiveness reminds us how much we need it.

2. Forgiveness helps long term emotional health.

Think about the consequences of bottling things up. Let’s say someone offended or worse yet victimized you and never showed any regret. Tough situation, right?

Indeed. What are your options? You could hate the person for the rest of your life. You could try to get back at them. You could extend your negativity beyond the individuals and to their family and acquaintances. All real options to be sure, but to what end?

If you forgive the person, it may not guarantee a repair of the relationship, but it releases you from the constant emotional war of wishing they would “get theirs” or even trying to bring that about. Forgiving allows you to move forward and to release the power that person holds over you.

3. Practicing forgiveness models Jesus’ forgiveness.

Jesus is God. He died to forgive people with offenses against God piling higher than the highest mountain.

Forgiveness does not mean replacing consequences (although it may) for those who have harmed us, it simply means we choose to release ourselves from the power of what they did.

When we forgive, we become more like God. Such a simple concept, but so profound. Only God has the power to perfectly deal with His enemies. Only God has the power to perfectly judge those who have wronged us. We must avoid trying to harness that power for ourselves, trusting His plans even if we can’t understand in this life.

Think. What situation of conflict has most threatened you in your life?

Act. If you need to forgive someone, don’t rush and certainly don’t forgive because someone is trying to hush you up or prevent you from processing your own hurt.

But know that in time and rightly practiced forgiveness can mend relationships, kill anger, and allow you to move forward with increasing emotional and spiritual health. And, who knows, you might see great gain in a relationship as time often makes it easier to forgive differences.

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