Posts Tagged ‘Colossians 3:12-13’

Forgiveness: Forgotten factor in healing

June 10, 2018

In examining the Verse of the Day for June 10, 2018, we see a picture of how believers should behave toward one another in a specific area:

To gain a fuller understanding of what our behavior should be, take a look at Colossians 3:12-13 in the New Living Translation:

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

This passage brings to mind of one of the chapters in my newly completed book Not Just a Survivor: More than a Conqueror where I share the strategy I developed after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000. I learned that forgiveness can be a spiritual component of the healing process that is sometimes overlooked.

During the first ten years of dealing with my prostate cancer diagnosis, I was also a writer for an Internet publication that is no longer operational, and I recall publishing a series of articles on forgiveness. Years later, after the publication had folded, I recognized forgiveness as a contributing factor to my healing process

Described as a two-way street, this virtue is eloquently expressed in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. . . .” The subject is connected to some of the last words that Jesus Christ, who was also brutally slain, as he spoke before his death on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

In addition, Paul also exhorts believers to “be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” Dr. Arch Hart, Christian psychologist, offers a definition of forgiveness that seems to be particularly applicable. “Forgiveness is giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.”

James E. Hurst cites Dr. Sidney Simon who offers this definition of this of this critical concept: “Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.”

What does it mean to forgive?

To forgive means: to send away, dismiss, set free; to acquit by a verdict; to give no punishment to the guilty person and to view the guilty person as if he is innocent. Another definition means to let loose or set at liberty (a debtor).

When we forgive, we also recall another expression of truth by Jesus who said, “It more blessed to give than to receive.” In a situation where one person offers forgiveness and another receives forgiveness. Who is most blessed? I often say, “When you choose to give, you cannot lose, but when you choose not to give you cannot win.”

Benefits of Forgiveness:

Dr. Robert D. Enright, founder of the International Forgiveness Institute and pioneer researcher with the first scientifically proven forgiveness program in the country, has developed Forgiveness Is a Choice: A Step-by-Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope. This study guide demonstrates how forgiveness, when approached in the correct manner, benefits the forgiver far more than the forgiven, indicating that forgiveness can reduce anxiety and depression while increasing self-esteem and hopefulness toward one’s future.

Forgiving.org also examines “Forgiveness Among Individuals: The Relationship Between Forgiveness and Health” in a series of research projects that study the effects of forgiveness on stress, happiness, coping with major illness, and other aspects of health. Karen O’Connor also discusses the “Healing Power of Forgiveness.” In addition, A Campaign for Forgiveness Research acts as a resource of scientific studies related to forgiveness.” In addition, A Campaign for Forgiveness Research acts as a resource of scientific studies related to forgiveness. Everett L. Washington, Jr., Campaign Director, pinpoints the far-reaching effects of this often neglected virtue:

“Forgiveness is both a decision and a real change in emotional experience. That change in emotion is related to better mental and physical health.”

One of the most valuable lessons learned through this entire process is that forgiveness is a choice, as we conclude with this reminder:

I Choose to Forgive

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

I choose to forgive and to release from payment,
To clear the account and forego the debt once more.
Though rightfully owed to me, I choose to forgive,
To be gracious, in spite of the ingratitude.
My desire is to be kind and tenderhearted;
Even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven me,
I rise to the occasion of the Word of God.
Not keeping a record of any wrongs suffered,
I seek to walk in the footsteps of the Savior.
As Joseph, in compassion, assured his brothers
What Satan meant for evil, God fashions for good,
Widen my vision to see a much more grand scope:
May I also see all things working together
For the good, even in perilous times as these.

We close with Matthew West offering “Forgiveness”:

Today’s post is an excerpt from one of the chapters of the forthcoming book. Not Just a Survivor—More than a Conqueror.  Go to lonnelledwardjohnson.com and subscribe to get more publication details. You can also get more details here at Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe. Stay tuned.