This is a Guest blog and WORTH the read.
Thank you Peter Prins for your thought provoking blog. In God be Glorified.
*The Multiple Benefits of Forgiving*
As people with solid religious beliefs, we have been taught that it is our duty to forgive. But the power of forgiving goes much, much deeper than that. In fact, as for every instruction that God our Creator gave us, He had good reason.
Before we start:
Whether the other person or party deserves to be forgiven or not is irrelevant. How deep the pain goes is also not on the agenda. This piece looks at YOU – and how YOU as a person can benefit in multiple ways by making a choice to forgive.
Several reasons, in fact. He probably has much more, but here are a few that comes to my simple mind:
- Everything as we know it was created to exist in harmony. Just look at how everything works together – like bees and flowers ensuring one another’s continued existence. We were not given the capacity for love as an afterthought – it is for a reason. When we forgive, we return to our state of harmony as intended. When we return to our state of harmony, we “fit in” as it is meant to be.
But it goes far beyond that…
- When you bear a grudge, or when you are upset about something, it is a burden. Ask any psychologist. It drains your energy, your ability to focus, and it clouds your decisions. It gradually wears you down and gets in the way of being able to live a fulfilling life.
In fact, if you look at it from the other side, by NOT forgiving someone else, you are allowing him or her to have a measure of control over your life – because he or she is influencing your thoughts, decisions, and actions.
When you forgive, you are able to let go. When you let go, you regain control of your thoughts, emotions, and decisions. From a purely psychological point of view, it is very, very powerful.
- Once you forgive someone, he or she is then left in Bigger Hands. Those Big Hands may be waiting to teach him or her a lesson (even if not the way you would like it to be) – but while you are holding on to your anger or pain, He is waiting for you to let go.
Once YOU let go and forgive, He can start working on that person(s). How He deals with that person afterward, is not our concern anymore.
- Once you forgive, you experience a sense of knowing that you have become bigger than the problem. The bigger the transgression against you, the more you grow as a person when you forgive. Eventually, you get to a point where (whenever you need to forgive), even though you don’t condone the action taken against you, you can see how and why it happened. You end up being the better person and knowing it.
- Many of us who are working hard to get ahead in life, are holding ourselves back because of harboring anger, hatred, resentment or disappointment. We allow these negative emotions to drain our energy, and devote time to them – even though those emotions aren’t worthy of a second of our time.
We waste our energy – instead of using it to get ahead. By forgiving, we free up that additional energy – pretty much like shutting down one program on a computer allows the rest to run faster.
- By not forgiving, we can negatively affect our health. Fair enough, this only happens in extreme cases – but YOU determine the extremity – because how your body responds to it, depends on how YOU feel about what has happened to you. The strain of the burden can wear you down physically, and affect your health.
If you forgive before it gets out of hand, you can prevent this from happening. If you are already causing yourself suffering, you can regain your health by letting go and forgiving.
- It was written, “let him who is without sin cast the first stone”…
It was also written, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
The more mercy we are willing to show towards others, the more mercy we can expect.
Right now, you might not think that you may need it – but we never know which mistakes WE might be making in the remainder of our lives. And we have NO idea of what to expect on the day when we are Judged.
There is one catch to all of this:
You have to REALLY forgive in order to experience all of these benefits. Just SAYING it isn’t enough. It’s what’s inside that counts.
And yes, depending on what you feel it might be very difficult – I know from personal experience.
But always remember this:
The real power of forgiving lies in knowing that it’s not about the other person.
It’s about YOU.
Do it for yourself – because you have a lot to gain once you do.