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  • Writer's pictureDr Dagbue

Embracing Forgiveness and Healing: A Pathway to Emotional and Spiritual well Being

A man seated on a mountaintop with the sun setting at the background with the Caption: Embracing Forgiveness and Healing: A Pathway to Emotional and Spiritual well Being

Welcome to the Health for the Spirit, Soul, and Body Blog by Doxa Missions. Today, we’ll explore one of the fundamental principles for living a peaceful and stable Christian life: forgiveness. It is not just foundational to Christian doctrine; it is essential for healthy relationships and personal peace. In today's world, where conflict seems ever-present, understanding and applying this concept is more important than ever.


Understanding Forgiveness

In the Christian context, forgiveness is a deliberate act of mercy, love, and grace. It is the decision to release either resentment or vengeance towards a person or group that has harmed us, regardless of whether they actually deserve forgiveness or not. Forgiveness is an act of one's will.

There are many teachings in the Bible on forgiveness. One of the most illustrative is the parable of the prodigal son, found in Luke 15:11-32. In this story, the father offers unconditional forgiveness to his wayward son, teaching us about God's boundless and infinite forgiveness towards us.

From a practical point of view, forgiveness means letting go of grudges and bitterness. This is not for the offender's sake, but for one's peace and well-being. Forgiveness involves choosing to love and pray for those who have wronged us, reflecting how Christ forgave those who were harming Him even as He hung on the cross.


My Personal Story of Forgiving and Forgetting

I remember a time before I became a Christian when someone I knew well wronged me repeatedly. The individual did certain things that were really frustrating and clearly deliberate. I was so upset that I voiced my grievances whenever and wherever I could, making sure to state that I would never forgive or forget what this person had done.

I recall many instances where I recounted the incidents to others, and those who heard my story agreed with me about the gravity of the person's actions. However, when I became a Christian, I began to understand the importance of forgiveness. I decided to ask the Lord for help, praying for the strength to forgive this person.

Eventually, I found myself in a situation where I was trying to remember what this person had done to offend me so deeply, and I was pleasantly shocked and surprised to realize that I had forgotten the specifics of the incidents. Instead of feeling anger, I felt peace whenever I thought about this person.

This experience taught me that forgiveness is a deliberate act of will. Even though I initially felt resentment and bitterness, choosing to forgive led to genuine healing and peace. This shows that forgiveness is more than just a feeling; it is a conscious decision to let go and move forward.


The Importance of Forgiveness

Mark 11:26 states, "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." Luke 11:4 says, "And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." These scriptures indicate that forgiveness directly affects us, for if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven.

Luke 6:37 adds, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged. Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned. Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven." Luke 17:4 also makes it clear, "And if he trespasses against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, 'I repent,' thou shalt forgive him."

These verses highlight the importance of forgiveness in the life of a Christian. Forgiveness is not merely a suggestion but a vital aspect of our spiritual health and relationship with God.


The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

One of the stories that fascinates me in the Bible is the parable of the unforgiving servant. This story humbles me because I realize how easy it is to fall into the same situation as the unforgiving servant. You can find this parable in Matthew 18:21-35.

In the story, the servant owed a massive debt that he could not pay. According to the times they were living in, for him to repay the debt, he, his wife, and his children could have been sold into slavery. The servant begged his master for patience to repay the debt. The master was moved with compassion and forgave the debt entirely.

The servant, relieved and happy, went out and encountered a fellow servant who owed him a small amount—a hundred pence, according to the Bible. Instead of showing the same mercy he had received, he laid hands on his fellow servant and put him in prison for the small debt, even though the fellow servant begged him for mercy.

Other servants saw what happened and were very upset. They reported the incident to their master, who then reacted by delivering the unforgiving servant to the tormentors as punishment for his lack of mercy.

Whenever we hear this story, it is easy to feel righteous indignation. However, upon closer reflection, we might see ourselves in the unforgiving servant. If God can forgive us our immense sins and accept us as His children, how can we withhold forgiveness from those who wrong us?

You might say it is easy to speak about forgiveness because you are not in the situation. However, the point of this parable is that, like the unforgiving servant, we must be careful not to fall into the trap of withholding forgiveness. If we remember the immense forgiveness we have received from God, it becomes clear that we too must extend that same forgiveness to others.


The Personal Benefits of Forgiveness and Healing

One thing about forgiveness is that whenever we think about forgiving someone, it can feel as if we are losing something from our being by forgiving them. However, according to the scriptures and stories we have explored in the Bible, forgiveness actually benefits us more than the person we forgive.

Firstly, forgiveness places us in a position for God to hear our prayers. As Mark 11:26 and Luke 11:4 remind us, our ability to receive forgiveness from God is linked to our willingness to forgive others. Secondly, forgiveness allows us to experience God's forgiveness, which is essential for our spiritual well-being.

Additionally, forgiveness grants us peace of mind in our day-to-day lives. Holding onto grudges and bitterness can weigh heavily on our hearts, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. By choosing to forgive, we release these burdens and open ourselves up to experiencing God's peace.

Therefore, it is important to remind ourselves from time to time that forgiveness is for our own benefit. It is not merely an act of kindness towards others, but a crucial step towards maintaining our spiritual health and inner peace.


Establishing Healthy Boundaries

One other important aspect of forgiveness is understanding that it does not mean we should continue making the same mistakes or remain in the same situation that created the wrong in the first place. Forgiveness does not imply that we should stay in an abusive or life-threatening circumstance or relationship or continue to suffer loss from a person or group of persons because we have forgiven them.

Forgiveness and healing may sometimes involve placing boundaries to ensure that similar situations do not occur again. It is essential to learn lessons from our experiences. Whatever happens to us, we must learn from it, apply the word of God, and adapt.

If certain circumstances put us in a position to be wronged, we must protect ourselves and ensure we do not place ourselves in the same position in the future. Establishing healthy boundaries is a part of this process, helping us to move forward while maintaining our well-being and safety.

Forgiveness is a powerful tool for emotional and spiritual healing. It allows us to let go of resentment, find peace, and reflect God's love and mercy in our lives. As we embrace forgiveness, we open ourselves to a deeper relationship with God and healthier relationships with those around us.

Have you experienced the peace that forgiveness brings to our lives? Share your thoughts or experiences in the comments section below. Let’s encourage and support each other on this journey of healing and growth.





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