We’ve all been hurt by someone at some point. Friends, family members, coworkers, or even strangers have done one or two things to annoy us.
Unfortunately, clinging to grudges and anger affects us more than the other person.
Hence, philosophers, religious leaders, and psychologists always emphasize the incredible four benefits of forgiveness.
Parents won’t stop telling their kids to pardon people who offend them.
But what’s so special about forgiveness that everyone talks about it?
What does it mean to “forgive” and why should you do it?
We will answer all the questions in this article by discussing the benefits of forgiveness with Bible verses.
We will also cover steps to forgive. So let’s get started!
What Is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness means forgiving someone who hurts or annoys you.
It means letting go of all the grudges and resentment towards your offenders.
Instead of demanding an apology or revenge, you let go of negative feelings for inner peace.
Forgiveness is about yielding to the Lord’s demand for peaceful living with all men.
It frees you emotionally so you can move forward healthily.
Why You Should Forgive
Some reasons why you should forgive people who trespass against you include:
1. It Is God’s Desire and Instruction
God values forgiveness so much that he asks us to forgive our offenders.
According to the scripture, the Lord wants you to forgive all offenders just as he (through Christ) forgave your sins on countless occasions.
In case you don’t know how many times you should forgive, Jesus Christ told us never to revenge unless we’ve been offended 490 times (Matthew 18: 21-22)
Judging by the Bible verse above, revenge is not an option because no one will offend you that much.
2. It Promotes a Happy Living
Unforgiveness opens doors to a sad and unsettled state of mind.
It makes you harbor hatred for your neighbors, which will indirectly affect your mental health and relationship with others.
Unfortunately, unforgiveness will cause more harm than good.
Multiple studies show that holding onto grudges and anger raises your anxiety, depression, and blood pressure levels. It also tears down your immune system over time.
Therefore, parents often preach forgiveness to their kids to avoid unnecessary psychological implications.
Have you noticed that your countenance changes once you see the people you refuse to forgive? It shows how much you hate them.
3. Forgiveness Allows You to Move On With Other Things
It feels natural to feel angered for months when someone has betrayed your trust.
However, replaying the event with resentment will only trap you in the past.
Making a conscious choice to practice forgiveness frees you from negative rumination.
It will allow you to redirect that mental energy into the present moment.
4. It Enhances Productivity
What does forgiveness have to do with productivity? Well, there is a connection that most people often overlook.
You need a sound and happy mindset to be productive in life.
Just as mentioned above, forgiveness makes you happy.
Therefore, a happy mind and soul put you in the best psychological position to make things happen.
What Does The Lord Say About Forgiveness
Let’s check the scripture and see what the Lord says about forgiveness:
1. Ephesians 4:32
“Forgive each other even as Christ forgave You.”
This Bible verse charges you to forgive your neighbors irrespective of the pain and grief they’ve caused you.
2. Matthew 6:14
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
This verse is more like the first one. However, it teaches that you will hardly enjoy the Lord’s forgiveness unless you forgive.
Let’s just say that forgiving others begot God’s forgiveness.
3. Luke 6:37
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
4. Colossians 3:13
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
The Lord warns against such an unhealthy attitude. Instead, forgive and focus on other important things.
Meanwhile, other verses that talk about forgiveness include Psalm 86:5; Mark 11:25; and Matthew 18: 21-22.
How to Start Practicing Forgiveness
Forgiving someone isn’t easy. It takes time to process the whole disheartening situation before choosing to let go.
However, forgiveness isn’t impossible. You can achieve it through patience and perseverance.
Meanwhile, here are steps to forgive your offenders:
- Release Your Anger
Vent your feelings instead of bottling them in your mind.
Tell your offenders what you feel about their actions and iron out all the necessary issues through heartfelt discussions.
Hear their side of the story and move to the next stage of the forgiveness steps.
- Show Empathy
I know it’s hard to empathize with someone who hurts you, but that could ease the burden.
Having heard the reasons for their actions, you might have a rethink of everything.
Of course, some actions have no justification, I know that for sure. Nonetheless, it’s still advisable you show empathy for their imperfections.
Accepting what’s done because suffering comes from not accepting realities.
- Wish Them Peace
At this point, you’ve accepted all that has happened and are ready to forge ahead.
Wishing them peace ultimately neutralizes lingering resentment.
Meanwhile, it’s okay if things don’t go back to how it was before the incident.
- Redirect Your Focus
We’ve heard so much about “forgive and forget” but it’s easier said than done.
I mean, it’s very difficult to forget how your best and most trusted friend duped you.
Nonetheless, you can consciously channel your attention to something positive whenever you remember their offense.
Forgiveness isn’t an option; it’s a must for every child of God aiming for a better life.
As you continue in your journey in life, pray for the spirit of forgiveness and let go of every grudge as soon as possible.
Forgiving your offenders is one of the things you must do to enjoy God’s peace and prosperity.
Reflect on the people you need to forgive today. Write their name down along with how they hurt you. Try the steps above and see how it goes.
Kindly share your journey or insights in the comment as I would love to hear from you.