Understanding Forgiveness: 7 Keys to Blessing, Power and Peace

Forgiving is rediscovering the shining path of peace that at first you thought others took away when they betrayed you. ~ Dodinsky

Have you ever been swamped by anger, shock and confusion? Has someone you thought you could trust ever said or done something that hurt you deeply? How did you react?

Your natural mind wanted to dwell on the situation, replaying the incident over and over in your mind. You thought of all the appropriate come-backs, the biting words you should have said. You created dream-scenes of vengeance and retaliation. It’s a pity party for one. And it’s lonely.

The only problem is you buried yourself in resentment and hostility. Note the word ‘buried’. It’s deep and full of dirt. You can’t see daylight. Instead, all that dirty stuff eventually spills out of you. You dump it on others that you didn’t mean to hurt. And they become resentful of you, your attitude, your ‘dirt’. And the cycle continues – unless forgiveness cleans up the mess.

Forgiveness has seven spiritual and natural strengths, seven benefits (blessings) that contribute to your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health. Here they are:

1.    Forgiveness is a benefit! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgives all thine iniquities; who heals all thy diseases; Who redeems thy life from destruction; who crowns thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies … (Ps. 103:2-4)  

Don’t you want to get all your ‘benefits’ in life? Well, God calls forgiveness a benefit! It is also a prerequisite for healing, redemption, lovingkindness, and mercy. As you forgive others, you put yourself in position to receive the rest of your benefits (blessings) from God. (Read the whole 103rd Psalm for the rest of your benefits!

2.    Forgiveness confounds the enemy. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6:12)

When someone hurts you, forgiveness is easier if you remember that the person is not your enemy. Hurt, pain and every evil thing (thought) originate in ‘spiritual wickedness’. Forgiveness blocks the devil’s ability to maintain turmoil, anger and revenge. It stops the cycle of pain and retaliation. Instead, you discover peace, joy and contentment.

3.    Forgiveness is a key to good health. Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. (Matt. 9:2)

Mental anguish, anger, bitterness and fretfulness are proven to trigger physical illness. Letting go of both real and perceived hurts is a major contributor to mental and physical health. Release mental and emotional pain and worry (of which unforgiveness is a huge contributor) and you will have less pain in your body.

4.    Forgiveness is mercy in action. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)

Have you ever snapped at someone, then regretted it almost immediately? Or said something you meant one way – but it came out entirely wrong? Did you ever not even KNOW that you’d hurt someone? Did you hope that the other person ‘understood’ your intentions rather than your words? Grant others the same mercy you hope for.

5.    Forgiveness is good. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. (Ps. 86:5)

Didn’t your parents always tell you to ‘be good’? If you wanted some special thing from them, didn’t you try extra hard to be good? The Psalmist says ‘good’ means being ready to forgive, to extend mercy. Forgiveness is a sign of maturity and strength.

6.    Forgiveness strengthens your prayers. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)

God ties forgiveness to prayer. If your heart and mind are full of bitterness and anger, there is little room to receive the results you are praying for. Dump the negatives to make room for more peace, joy, love, blessing and abundance. Unforgiveness blocks the power of God from functioning in your life.

7.    Forgiveness circumvents temptation. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. (Luke 11:4)

What you sow, you will reap. If you have ever done anything that needed forgiven, be a forgiver. Holding a grudge is a temptation. Instead, let go of anger, animosity, bitterness and hatred. Those emotions are directly connected to spiritual wickedness. The Bible declares that God is Love. Love can only be compassionate, merciful, and forgiving.

Forgiveness is the key to mental health, spiritual strength and physical well-being. Dig your way out of the depths of resentment, anger and vengeance into joy, peace, compassion and forgiveness. Let there be light!

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