Monday, 14 November 2011

Lessons in Forgiveness

One of my favorite writers is Dr. Bob Snyder. In a recent blog (www.lessonslearnedonthejourney.com) he wrote on the importance of forgiveness.


Scientific research shows that when I forgive I will be happier and healthier. (Robert Enright Ph.D., International Forgiveness Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison) Studies by Dr. Fred Laskin at Stanford University also indicate that forgiveness can be learned — there is yet hope for me.

However, giving up ALL claims to revenge or punishment because of an offense is extraordinarily difficult. Extending mercy rather than retribution is an intentional act that does not come naturally to me.

However, more important than the scientific research and positive benefits to my health is the fact that Jesus told me I must forgive. Forgiveness is an act of obedience, requiring the work of the Holy Spirit in me.
Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors...For if you forgive men when they sin against you your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Heavenly Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:12, 14, 15 NIV)

Science confirms what Jesus had already told me ...forgive! Now comes the challenge of living out a life of forgiveness. Please join me.”
There are few things that are more important to sustaining a marriage than the willingness to ask for forgiveness and the willingness to forgive. It is critical for couples to keep short accounts, never letting some hurt or infraction fester. My wife and I tend to be avoiders – this is not good. However we are deeply committed to our marriage. We found that by setting aside a specific time and place once a week for the sole purpose of airing any grievance that we had neglected to deal with at the time of occurrence was most freeing. We knew that the real purpose was to keep us from ruminating over some imagined hurt, to keep our marriage strong and to keep the devil from getting a foothold. I cannot tell you that either of us looked particularly forward to these meetings but we placed a great value on them.

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