We've all heard the saying 'To forgive is divine...' but the thing I think we forget most of the time is that we are to imitate that divine action. (Ephesians 5:1).
We as human beings should keep short accounts.
So what happens when we don't keep short accounts?
When we don't forgive we lose sleep. Sleep is something that God has given us as a gift! In fact Jesus has given us a mandate to rest...and when we live in a state of bitterness our rest is blocked.
When we don't forgive our health goes downhill. According to the MAYO CLINIC these are some of the things that happen when we don't extend forgiveness and live in a bitter lifestyle.
- Bring anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience
- Become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can't enjoy the present
- Become depressed or anxious
- Feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you're at odds with your spiritual beliefs
- Lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others
And on the other hand those who do live in a state of forgiveness will enjoy the following benefits:
So as you can see living a lifestyle of forgiveness is so much beneficial to your personal health.
- Healthier relationships
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Stronger immune system
- Improved heart health
- Higher self-esteem
When we don't forgive we damage the body of Christ One of the most damaging things that happens inside the walls of the church are men and women who claim to love and follow Jesus acting as if they never knew him. The Bible says in John 13:34-35 'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” So it stands to reason that God wants you and I to live in such a way that we love each other and make forgiving one another one of our top priorities! Why? So we can model Jesus to a dark world that is lost and dying. As a result light is shed and lives are changed!
There should be a promise from the Lord about this thing called forgiveness. If we won't extend forgiveness to people Jesus won't extend forgiveness to us. ( Matt 6:15 - but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.)
I firmly believe that if the church would live in such a way that we kept short accounts in the area of our relationships, marriages, and church lives we'd have less turmoil in our world and more blessing!
Stop holding grudges! Honestly, its insane! Holding a grudge is like punching yourself in the face and expecting the guy you're mad at to be hurt! It never works! You are the one that gets hurt!
Give that anger to Jesus!