This is not an exhaustive or comprehensive treatment of the topic. This message highlights some selected important aspects of forgiveness. It is guided by bible-based verses in keeping with the belief that the Bible is the greatest source of wisdom.
“To err is human, to forgive divine”, first proclaimed by Alexander Pope in the 17th century, is not an empty adage. It expresses a fundamental weakness in humans, and establishes a supernatural connection that elevates us from an errant being to one created in the image of God. Pope is not suggesting that we need a divine or spiritual quality in order to forgive. He is saying that the act or result of forgiveness is something divine. As children of God, all human beings are born with a divine spark or spiritual dimension. When we forgive, that quality is reflected.
While forgiveness had its roots in religious origins, now both secular and religious wisdom support the virtue of forgiveness. Psychologists and psychiatrists have amassed an impressive slate of findings to support its wide range of health benefits. At the University of Wisconsin, led by psychologist Robert D. Enright, researchers have developed forgiveness as a science used to treat people with chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, depression, and high blood pressure. Their basic approach is to help patients achieve positive feelings towards a person or persons where negative feelings previously existed.
The eruptions of anger directed outwardly at others have been shown to increase the risk of heart arrhythmias, heart attacks and high blood pressure, but when anger is turned inward and directed toward oneself, it may be even more deleterious and corrosive to physical and mental health. Scientific research ...
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... take its toll on an individual.
It is a misconception that forgiveness means dismissing the moral responsibility of the offender. The offender is still responsible for his actions, but the offended is assuming his responsibility to love. God is the One who does the paying back. Biblical forgiveness always insists on personal moral responsibility, but the right of retribution is transferred to God, to whom it rightfully belongs. In transferring the wrongdoing to a higher court, we are not overturning justice, but just cooperating with God’s word. This is made clear in the following verses:
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled (2 Thess 1:6-7)
We will be better able to love each other, and live in peace and harmony if we eschewed anger and bitterness towards each other by being more forgiving.
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