One of the great challenges of my life is to live a life of forgiveness. As a child I was more the type of kid who held a grudge. As a Christian, holding a grudge is counter to the word of God. Here are a few powerful stories, songs and a sermon from TD Jakes on Forgiveness. The question I would ask of you is “Is there anyone in your world that needs your forgiveness?”
Forgive and forget. Easier said than done, right? Well, now studies are showing forgiveness is not only good theology, but good medicine as well. According to the latest medical and psychological research, forgiving is good for our souls and our bodies. People who forgive:
- Benefit from better immune functioning and lower blood pressure,
- Have better mental health than people who do not forgive,
- Feel better physically,
- Have lower amounts of anger and fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression,
- Maintain more satisfying and long-lasting relationships.
“When we allow ourselves to feel like victims or sit around dreaming up how to retaliate against people who have hurt us, these thought patterns take a toll on our minds and bodies.” Says Michael McCullough, director of research for the National Institute for Healthcare Research and a co-author of To Forgive is Human: How to Put Your Past in the Past
Consider this story. Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: “Today my best friend slapped me in the face.” They kept walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: “Today my best friend saved my life.” The friend replied: “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone. Why?” The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us we should write it down in the sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”
Learn to write your hurts in the san and carve your benefits in stone.
A story of a woman who forgave the man who took her legs
A powerful clip as people tell their short stories and their response
A father forgives his daughter’s murderer
A powerful song by Matthew West on Forgiveness
TD Jakes preaches on forgiveness
Amish forgiveness after the school massacre.
The Science of Forgiveness (don’t agree with the evolutionary flavour of this clip but the research info is great)