Preparing People For Life!

The Victory Of Forgiveness (Part 4)

Forgiveness is something we must all practice or be the one who pays the biggest price. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude, and joy. In this post I want to share with you some of the benefits of forgiving someone to achieve reconciliation and how to deal with those who refuse to recognize they have hurt you.

Benefits Of Forgiveness

There are many benefits of forgiveness.  God wants us to live in forgiveness, not bitterness and resentment because we refuse to forgive someone who has wronged us.  Some of the benefits include:

  • 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

As you can see there are many benefits to forgiving someone.  But the question remains how do you reach a state of forgiveness?  Here are five (5) tips to help you forgive:

  1. Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life.
  2. Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how this has affected your life, health, and well being.
  3. Actively choose to forgive the person who’s offended you.
  4. Refuse to play the role of the victim.
  5. Make a decision to obey God and His Word.

The most important part of forgiveness is that it opens the door to reconciliation. Our ultimate desire should be reconciliation, but sometimes that just isn’t possible.  In fact if the offender has died or is unwilling to communicate with you reconciliation may be impossible.  Even though forgiveness is always commanded, in some cases reconciliation may never happen or be the best thing depending on the circumstances.  Do your best to keep an open heart and mind and always be led by the Holy Spirit.

Getting the other person to change isn’t your job and isn’t the point of forgiveness.  Think of forgiveness in the sense of how it can change your life by bringing you peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing.  Forgiveness will take away the power of what unforgiveness has done to your life.

If you are the one who needs forgiveness the first step is to honestly assess and acknowledge the wrongs you’ve done and how those wrongs have affected others.  If you’re truly sorry for something you’ve sad or done, consider admitting it to those you’ve harmed.  Speak of your sincere sorrow or regret, and specifically ask for forgiveness without making excuses. Remember, however, you can’t force someone to forgive you. Whatever the outcome may be, commit to treating others with compassion, empathy, and respect.

In the next post I will cover how to get free from unforgiveness and start out on a path to freedom.

— Pastor Temple

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