The Blessings of Forgiveness
By Rev. John Kwasi Fosu
Been hurt by others cannot be avoided. This is because by our relational human nature, we have different backgrounds and personality types. And this makes it difficult to please each other. There is a saying in Akan that “edua a eben na etwi.” Since we cannot escape from been hurt by those who are very close to us, the only option left is to forgive. The motivation here is that there is the need and benefits in forgiving others.
Biblical Basis on the Need for Forgiveness
The biblical truth is that God is the God of Forgiveness. It is God’s nature to forgive. Jesus teaches that God is our Father who has power to forgive and is willing to forgive. Jesus also taught about Forgiveness and Practiced Forgiveness. Matthew 6: 14-15 forms part of Jesus’ teaching of his disciples and all Christians about forgiveness. While Jesus was on the cross he forgave all who had hurt him by contributing to his suffering on the cross (Luke 23:34).
Jesus Commands all Believers to be Loving and Forgiving (Luke 6:37) in that the price of forgiveness is always lesser than the price of unforgiveness. Jesus teaches that when we refuse to forgive others, God will also not forgive us.
Benefits of Forgiveness
There are many blessings or benefits of forgiveness. This encompasses spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological aspects of the people.
- Some Spiritual Benefits of Forgiveness
Forgiveness restores your relationship with God. Here forgiveness has rich spiritual blessings which include a guarantee of answered prayers. According to Matthew 6:15 and Luke 6:37, it can be said that it is illogical to expect forgiveness from God and other people unless you are prepared to exercise it yourself. Also, Forgiveness Releases Divine Favour and Restoration. When Job forgave his friends who had offended him and prayed for them (Job 42:10), his captivity was turned around. Also, he received back all the blessings he had lost in double fold.
- Some Physical Benefits of Forgiveness
Physically forgiveness is good for our health. Those who have been hurt badly by someone and respond with, “I Would die before I forgive you!” usually do! Studies show that people who forgive are healthier, have less stress, and have lower blood pressure. Those who refuse to forgive, on the other hand, have increased risk for heart disease, cadisovascular illness, and cancer.
A medical Doctor by name Colin C. Tipping, who works with cancer patients to help them forgive has observed that: “Nearly all cancer patients besides having a lifestyle habit of suppressing and repressing emotions, are known to share a marked inability to forgive.” Their unforgiveness is literally eating them from the inside out!
- Some Psychological Blessings of Forgiveness
Psychologically, forgiveness releases your creativity. The story goes that, as Leonardo Da Vinci was painting the famous Last Supper, he painted the face of his enemy as the face of Judas. That appeared to be a way of getting revenge. But as he did so, something strange happened. He couldn’t finish the picture of Christ. His creativity was stifled. He tried, but couldn’t do it. It was as if he was wrestling in his mind. Suddenly he realized what he must do. He forgave his enemy and erased his enemy’s face from the painting. That very night he finished the face of Christ. Forgiveness released Da Vinci’s creativity, and forgiveness will release your creativity as well.
Some Reflective Comments
Joseph was hurt by his brothers during his youthful and for that matter teenage years. Yet he forgave. Forgiveness brings about freedom though it is sometimes painful. It seems easier to blame others and go on defending our position of being right. Are you hurt because your school mates and teacher have not treated you fairly? Are you disappointed in your father, mother or children because they have not supported you as they should? Are you hurt and thus lonely because your co-workers, friends and spouse and loved ones have not related well with you? Choose to forgive and be free. Before the close of the day, forgive the one who has hurt you in any way even as your heavenly father has forgiven you, and be really free.
Presented By Rev. John Kwasi Fosu – http://www.revjkfosu.com