Forgiving someone can sometimes be hard. It can be even harder when we must forgive a trusted friend, a spouse, or a close relative. Sometimes we may even have to forgive a stranger or ourselves. Regardless of whomever, it might be, forgiveness is important to our well-being.
Forgiveness is important to our physical as well as our mental health. It is also extremely important for our salvation and spiritual well-being. Our connection to God is our act of repentance and turning from sin and receiving His forgiveness. I want the Lord to forgive my many sins, so I try daily to forgive others. As old hurts cross my mind, I stop myself from revisiting those old hurts that can lead to hateful thoughts by praying for the person. I am not sure why these thoughts have crossed my mind, but I have learned to move on by praying.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.Matthew 6:14 (NIV)
Focus On Forgiveness
We must sometimes focus on the good rather than the bad. We should try each day to be kind and compassionate. I have tried to always be mindful that hurt people hurt other people.
Like me and many others if you have lived your life there are many forgivenesses in your life. We may have these forgivenesses because we simply are not ready to forgive them. When I was holding on to my unforgiveness, I found many reasons. I felt that forgiveness was letting the person off the hook. Therefore, I held on tight to it. In my thinking, this person needed to pay for the harm they had inflicted on me. Hence, I was going to make them pay for my hurt every opportunity I got. Therefore, my focus was on revenge not how forgiveness is important.
Revenge was more Important
No matter how many times I heard that forgiveness is important to my moving on. I just was bent on getting back and getting even. Revenge can be ever-consuming sometimes. However, as long as the person was sharing my misery we were even. I could not move forward even if an apology came gift-wrapped. Therefore, we were both stuck because I would never surrender. Hence, I was never going to heal.
Forgiveness is important but surrender was not
Letting go of all the hate, all the anger, meant to me, giving up on justice. In my eyes, there is no justice in surrender. However, God began to speak to my heart, and it sent me running to him on my knees. My ex-husband had done something that I felt was so selfish that made me extremely angry. I was so consumed with hate I could not recognize myself. However, I did come to realize that this was not who I am. I wanted my life back. I wanted joy and love in my heart. Therefore, I ran to the church that day to be with God. God showed me I could not harbor all this hate and resentment I had to forgive him. But how was I going to ever forgive?
Forgiving means to be ready and willing to forgive. However, Forgiveness is the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven. Was I truly ready and willing to forgive? Was I ready to put this into action? However, I had to first understand that forgiveness is not forgetting or accepting what was done. Also, it is not having to face the person to forgive them unless they have asked in person. You can simply have a conversation with God sharing all that you want to forgive. The Father will listen and help you forgive as He has forgiven you. Hence, I could forgive in my heart from a distance. After all, forgiveness was for me. Forgiveness is important to my health.
Why Forgiveness is important to our physical health
It takes a lot to walk around with so much unforgiveness. It causes us stress that can lead to sickness. Stress is the leading cause of illness today that compromises our physical health. However, here is some good news: Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression, and stress per Hopkinsmedicine.org
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How important is forgiveness to your mental health?
If we are constantly bombarded with negative thoughts and feelings, it will play a toll on our mental health. We were not designed to hold on to all-consuming hate. It will cloud our judgment and spill into other parts of our life. Every thought will soon become veiled with our unforgiveness. We will begin to see bad in almost anything. We will behave like we are constantly under attack. Hence, seeing insults or slights where there are none. Thereby, creating more enemies in our minds. We will eventually become unable to trust, forgive, or even love other people as we should. Our mental state will eventually deteriorate under this constant state of mind.
Per Mayo Clinic, if you’re unforgiving, you might: Bring anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can’t enjoy the present. Become depressed or anxious.
Freedom from anger
I spent about 10 years of my life imprisoned by unforgiveness towards my ex-husband. It was fueled by my constant grievance toward anything he did or said to me. I always had a story to share with my family and friends regarding what he had done to me. I was always angry and consumed with getting revenge. Until God said let it go so, I can heal and forgive you. God wanted me to release the hurt. Even when forgiveness seems impossible, God said it would be required for me to be truly free. Hence, forgiveness is important for us to be free from anger.
How many times to forgive
Once we decide that we want to forgive and move on we will constantly have to remind ourselves that we have forgiven this person or ourselves. If you have lived with your unforgiveness for a while it may take you some time to let it all go. Hence, many of us have held on to our unforgiveness for years even decades. It will require some time to fully release these long-held feelings. You may even have to forgive this person repeatedly. Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Matthew 18:21 (NIV). Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:22 (NIV)
Forgiveness is important but what about reconciliation
Are forgiveness and reconciliation the same? No, they are not. Even as I have forgiven my ex-husband, I have no desire for reconciliation. For me, it is enough to pray for him and wish him well. I have no desire to have him in my small world. Hence, I have long decided that there is no place for him in my life and I have no place in his. We both are living separate lives that are no longer intertwined because of our son. Consequently, when our son graduated from college it was the last of our communication. It is up to my adult son to have a relationship with his father that does not include me. The trust between us is unfortunately irreparable.
Can you have forgiveness without trust? Yes, you can. Hence, this is the reason why there can be no true reconciliation for me. I can be cordial and polite at any required social event. However, this could be considered a form of reconciliation but since it lacks the closeness of a true relationship the best you can hope for is acquaintance status. At least in my case. Trust is a huge factor in any relationship. In most instances, without trust, there can be no true relationship. However, can this kind of forgiveness bring healing?
how forgiveness heals you
For me, forgiveness is important to my road to healing. I was made whole again as I allowed the festering wound of resentment, hate, and anger to close forever. It took me repenting and forgiving and allowing the Lord to work on my heart. Therefore, when I walked away from the darkness there was more than enough room in my mind, body, and soul to fill it with joy, hope, and peace. The dark cloud was lifted, and I could see my world more clearly. I allowed love to remove all the hate. It allowed me to learn to forgive others for minor offenses to prevent them from growing into big offenses. I have no room in my heart to harbor unforgiveness. The act of forgiveness is important because it will continue to allow you to heal from so much more. This is how forgiveness can help you.
who deserves forgiveness?
We all deserve forgiveness. Hence, forgiveness is important. Our Father in heaven wants to forgive all our sins. He set the bar high, therefore if we are to be forgiven, we must forgive other people. Can you think of any sin you would not want to be forgiven of? I want all my sins to be given. Therefore, I have learned to extend forgiveness when there is no apology or agreement. Consequently, I have learned that forgiveness is important because it is for me. However, for a very long time, it was something that I had to work to accomplish in all my relations.
How to practice forgiveness in a relationship. It is a decision that I make every day as an expression of love. It is a form of compassion and kindness towards someone who you love. Therefore, if you love someone it becomes easy to forgive them because you know they love you. Forgiving someone that you know does not love you and you do not love them becomes difficult to express. “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, Luke 6:27 (ESV) However, as Christians, we are called to love our enemies with the understanding that God knows this would be difficult. For God is love therefore, forgiveness is love. What about the unrepentance?
Can forgiveness be given without repentance?
The forgiving is to help you and me. Do not waste your time thinking about whether they are sorry for what they have done. The other person does not have to repent to you, but if they do it is wonderful but not necessary. However, if they are a Christian, they will have to have this conversation with Jesus. There is no room in your heart for Jesus without repentance. However, this is none of your business. Your business is with God; hence your only concern should be your salvation. Pray to God, repent, and sin no more. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12 (ESV)
How to ask for forgiveness
Asking for forgiveness is important to your recovery. Sometimes we cannot love ourselves because we harbor so much un-love in our hearts. To recover our hearts, we must fill them with forgiveness. Thereby, releasing the pain, the hurt, the shame, and the pain. God wants us to love and be loved but we must take the first steps to humble ourselves. To face our fear of rejection but in the end, knowing you have done all that you can to restore the relationship. On the other hand, we must also allow the person that has hurt us to ask and receive our forgiveness. Trust me the heavy weight of unforgiveness will begin to lift and eventually disappear.
Forgiveness in the bible
The power of forgiveness in the Bible is life-changing. It is the difference between receiving grace and mercy or death. For without the forgiveness of sin we are left with eternal separation from God. However, our God is a God of second chances. He is love and he wants to be part of our whole life.
What is forgiveness in the Bible?
Forgiveness in the Bible is two-fold. The first part is the entire Bible leads to the forgiveness of sin, reconciliation with God, and salvation. It is an essential part of living life as a Christian. The second part is God’s call for us to be kind and forgive others. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) and Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 (NIV). Forgiveness is Important in the Bible.
In the Bible, forgiveness means Jesus paid it all. He took on all the sins of the world, past, present, and future. We just have to believe He is who He says He is. The Son of God, who came down to earth for the forgiveness of our sins, ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the father. Hence, seated means that the full job is completed. There is no more for Jesus to do. Therefore, it is up to us to just believe in this restorative power of His death. Read more about Why Jesus is Important.
Asking God for Forgiveness
Forgiveness is important to God, and we must ask Him for His forgiveness. A forgiveness prayer does not have to be overcomplicated. You can simply state your sin, ask forgiveness, accept any consequences for your sin (if any), and turn from this sin. Your Heavenly Father will forgive you. If your sin is impossible to prevent ask God to help you. You will begin to change things in your life to prevent yourself from this sin. It could be no longer associating with certain peers, changes to the movies you watch, the music you listen to, or even the material that you read. The Holy Spirit will help you to see your sin before you have a chance to act on it. We must be ever mindful of the Holy Spirit’s voice. Click here to learn more about the Holy Spirit.
Finally, spend time daily with The Lord. He wants to spend time with you. God wants to show you all the love He has for you. He wants to help you with your unforgiving heart. Therefore, grab your Bible, find a comfortable chair, pray, and listen to God. Because Forgiveness is important.
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.Matthew 6:15 (NIV)
Love, peace, and joy,