Forgiveness is Good For Your Health

Forgiveness is Good For Your Health

“Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine and good things in others. Think about all the things you can praise God for and be glad about” (Philippians 4:8).

I recently read a book review of Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness. After five years of research, the authors found that people who forgive have decreased stress and fewer physical symptoms of stress. They experience greater physical vitality and feel less hurt and anger.

The authors concluded that the problem with grudges is that each time we think about the hurt or anger at the heart of the grudge, it’s a reminder of the helplessness we felt when it occurred. They recommend nine steps for moving towards forgiveness.

  1.   Know exactly how you feel about what happened.
  2.   Forgiveness is for you. Make a commitment to do what you need to feel better.
  3.   Seek peace — not necessarily reconciliation — with the person(s) who hurt you.
  4. Get perspective and recognize that distress comes from hurt feelings and thoughts, and not what hurt you in the first place.
  5. When you feel upset, redirect your thoughts to that which is positive.
  6. Give up expecting things from other people that they choose not to give you.
  7.  Instead of mentally replaying the hurt, seek new ways to get what you want.
  8. Focus on goodness, love, and beauty. Remaining in the hurt only gives power to the person who hurt you.
  9. Rewrite the story of the grievance in your mind so you can focus on the heroic choice to forgive.

It seems to me that this is much the same advice that the Apostle Paul was giving in Philippians 4:8.

Someone said, “The practice of forgiveness is the most important contribution to healing the world.” What do you think?

It begins with us. How about you? Holding on to any grudges? Forgiveness is good for your health! Want to help heal the world? It begins with you.

Father, You have given us all the principles for our health and the healing of the world. You know that we always see how others need to change, but it is our attitudes that will begin to effect change. Your grace is sufficient for each one of us. Thank You that Your Holy Spirit will give us the will and the power to forgive wholeheartedly. Amen.

by Katherine Kehler

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