New Testament Forgiveness Essay example

New Testament Forgiveness Essay example

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“Holding a grudge has been likened to taking poison and hoping the enemy will die (Halter, 2006, p. 6a).” How can we mitigate anger and hatred so that our perceived injuries do not turn towards others or ourselves? In today’s day and age, characteristics of what forgiveness actually is are not easily defined. One view suggests that forgiveness involves a deliberate effort to change how one thinks about the person who had wronged them and to let go of any negative feelings towards that person. By acknowledging the pain that we have suffered, forgiveness allows for resolving the grief process (www.pbs.org). Nelson (2012) describes forgiveness as occurring on a continuum. At one end of the continuum the victim minimizes or denies that they have been hurt, and on the other end of the continuum there is aggression and the need to respond negatively against the perpetrator. In either case, an injustice creates a schism between the parties involved and to be at either end of the continuum is wrong. Research has begun to show that forgiveness is good for interpersonal relationships, social support, and that those individuals who are able to forgive have less physical impairments. Conversely, those who find it difficult to forgive are at risk for increased physical and psychological difficulties. One of the benefits to holding onto past hurts ensures future support against those who have injured us, however in doing so we also hold onto our own suffering (Halter, 2006).
Forgiveness in the New Testament can be viewed as a healing and therapeutic agent. It is a tradition that was handed down by Jesus throughout the New Testament and most notably, in the Lord’s Prayer where he instructed on how we are to pray, that we are to a...


... middle of paper ...


...ar that in order to receive, one must freely give. Forgiveness in the New Testament might best be understood by following the examples given by Jesus through deed and the parables.  



Works Cited

Finch, R.J. (2006). Trauma and forgiveness: A spiritual inquiry. Journal of Spirituality
in Mental Health, 9(2), 27-42.
Halter, D. (2005, December 16). Many learn forgiveness transforms. National Catholic
Reporter, 42(8), 6a, 7a.
Nelson, R. (2012). Exegeting forgiveness. American Theological Inquiry, 5(2), 33-58.
PBS.org. (2011). This Emotional Life. Understanding forgiveness. Retrieved from
http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/forgiveness/understanding-forgiveness.
Pettigrove, G. (2007). Forgiveness and interpretation. Journal of Religious Ethics, Inc.(35)3,
429-452.
Szablowinski, Z. (2012). Self-forgiveness and forgiveness. The Heythrop Journal. 678-689.

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