What Are The Benefit Of Forgive Someone
BIBLE TEXT: MATTHEW 5:23-24, 6:14-15, 18:21-22, EPHESIANS 4:32, COLOSSIANS 3:13
Forgiveness is one of the virtues expected of us as Christians. Our lives as Christians are based on the foundation of forgiveness. In fact, we are a product of forgiveness and we are called children of God because we have been forgiven our sins by God. Jesus Christ our perfect example and role model, in various instances in the Bible forgave people. In like manner, we are often to forgive the wrongs done towards us.
WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?
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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines forgiveness as “to stop being angry with someone and stop blaming them, although they have done something wrong.” Forgiveness therefore is an action or a choice to release an offender from our punishment and entrust it all to God. Another dictionary definition of forgiveness is “debt cancellation”. As Christians, we have been forgiven our offenses through Jesus Christ taking the punishment for all our sins and wrongdoings by dying on the cross. It is the finished work of Jesus on the cross that cancels our debt.
One important thing to take into consideration about forgiveness is that genuine forgiveness is unconditional. Whether the offender feels sorry or not about what they’ve done, as true Christians, we are expected to forgive. In essence, our ability to forgive is never dependent on the actions of others. That is the sweetest thing about forgiveness!
WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT FORGIVENESS?
Forgiveness is an act of love, and God calls us to love the people around us whom we love and even our enemies.
From Matthew 5:23-24, we clearly see that forgiveness is vital to receiving blessings from God. Jesus Himself tells us that our gifts, offerings and services cannot be acceptable to God if we do not forgive those who have offended us. Likewise,we must ensure that others forgive us also.
Matthew 6:14-15 states that forgiving others their wrongdoings is a prerequisite for us being forgiven by our Heavenly Father.
Matthew 18:21-22 states how often God expects us to forgive those who offend us. Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive seven times, but Jesus told him to forgive seventy times seven, whish is equivalent to four hundred and ninety times. This is practically forgiving as many times as we are offended.
Ephesians 4:32 enjoins us as Christians to be tenderhearted (i.e kind-hearted) towards others, as this will enable us forgive easily, just as Christ forgave us our sins.
Colossians 3:13 teaches us to make allowances for people’s offenses, and be ready to forgive at all times; reminding us how Jesus also forgave us.
BENEFITS OF FORGIVING SOMEONE
Having examined what the Bible teaches about forgiveness, what then are the benefits of forgiving others? As Christians, do we stand to gain anything when we forgive people?
There are numerous benefits of forgiving others. These include spiritual, health and social benefits. In this article, we will critically look at a few of those benefits.
- Answered Prayers
When we forgive those who offend us, and wholeheartedly at that, we will receive answers to our prayers speedily. Jesus, in Matthew tells us to drop our offerings beside the temple if we have any grudge anyone, and go to settle with the fellow. Only then can God accept our offerings. The Bible equally tells us to forgive if we want same from our Father in heaven. It goes to say that God cannot answer our prayers if He doesn’t forgive us; and to get His forgiveness, we should likewise forgive others their wrongdoings. It is as simple as that!
- Improved and Better Relationships
Ephesians 4:32 says “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God, in Christ forgave you.”
To set our broken world right again, forgiveness is a highly crucial. As a result of this, the better and quicker we are at forgiving others, the better our relationships with people become. Improved relationships are one of the huge benefits of forgiveness. For any relationship to thrive, forgiveness and grace are needed in high doses.
- Freedom From Unnecessary Weight
Unforgiveness is an unnecessary weight that leads to a heavy burden. This is capable of staying with us to wear us down, affecting so many aspects of our life. It affects our spiritual growth, as well as our mental health. Unforgiveness steals away our wellness and grows bitterness and resentment. The weight of unforgiveness will continue to grow; thereby making us to hurt ourselves more than anyone else (including the offender).
However, when we choose forgiveness over resentment, we discover that the weight of the burden is lifted off our lives, and this brings about wellness and joy. We become light and better! This ultimately leads to improved health, which will be discussed in the next point below.
- Improved Health
Health research shows that forgiving people who hurt us actually leads to better physical health. Among the top health benefits of forgiveness is better heart health. Obviously, studies are showing a lower risk of heart attack, better cholesterol levels and reduced blood pressure when people choose forgiveness over bitterness and resentment. According to the study, people also experience better sleep and reduced pain levels when they forgive.
Nothing brings healing to a wounded heart and soul than forgiveness. The choice to forgive someone who has hurt (e.g raped, duped, abused or cheated) you is the first step toward your healing. As long as you hold on to the hurt, healing will not come. Therefore, you have to forgive first in order to get healed. It is practically impossible to heal while refusing to forgive the wrongdoer, while still holding on to bitterness and resentment. Let go of the hurt, and your healing process will begin.
- Mental Health
The series of medical studies also indicate that better mental health is another benefit of forgiveness. A lot of people are experiencing reduced rate of anxiety and depression when they forgive others. Likewise, stress levels tend to reduce to the minimum. The most interesting part of the research was the increased likelihood of post traumatic stress disorder when people hold on to grudges, bitterness and resentment.
- Peace with God
The penultimate benefit of forgiving people is the great peace you will have with God. This in return, helps you develop your relationship with God. You can approach God without any feeling of guilt or resentment. You can now abide longer in His presence and enjoy sweet fellowship with Him. You now pray with the assurance of answers to your prayers.
These and many others are the benefits of forgiving someone.
Forgiveness is not a hard or complicated rule. However, it can be difficult when we have experienced deep hurt or betrayal. Having examined the benefits thereof, I encourage you today to choose forgiveness. God commands us to forgive and He is the only One that commands the best for His children. Remember that the benefits of forgiveness outweigh the consequences of unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment that comes with hurt.