Hurt. Pain. Suffering. Misfortune.
These are issues that we all have experienced, and all will experience; that we all have been exploited by.
It can be the cause of:
- False accusations
- Circumstances beyond our control
Sometimes we go through things in life that seem unfair, completely unreasonable and the only question we can ask is, “Why? Why me?”
These situations can leave us feeling debilitated, bitter, resentful and in utter pain.
Especially if we hold onto them. And that is unforgiveness. Although we may be justified in unforgiveness and be rightfully angry, holding that in our hearts and dwelling on it is like reliving the pain and it poisons, not only our minds and hearts, but our physical health as well.
I have recently just finished reading an amazing book, Grey’s Matter, written by one of the world’s top neurosurgeons, the award-winning Dr. David Levy! This book has been a true page turner, it has brought me both tears and so much joy. It recounts Dr Levy’s testimony in how he turned his medical practice into a ministry when he took the step to go public with his faith at work.
He saw the lives of his patients changed through leading them to a relationship with Jesus Christ. However, the part of his testimony that this article will look at is the weakened physical health he saw in patients because they were holding onto things such as unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness.
By not letting go of past hurt and pain we are only hurting ourselves even more. Our pain or even grudges are not affecting our perpetrators in any way – they are affecting us.
Hurt, but not held back
However, God doesn’t want to see us bound by these emotions. We may feel like forgiveness is letting our perpetrators off the hook, however forgiveness is for the health of our own souls and instead lets us off the hook.
Instead, “Never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord.”
(Romans chapter 12, verse 19)
For “Jesus came so that we may have life and have it in abundance.”
(John Chapter 10, verse 10)
Through unforgiveness we are limiting ourselves from experiencing life to the fullest: the joy and peace the Lord has to offer us.
Many patients that presented to Dr Levy experienced neck pain, headaches and other illnesses. They found that after being able to forgive, with the help and leadership of Dr Levy, their physical pain was drastically reduced or 100% gone and in other cases, people were able to heal more efficiently after injuries.
These people had experienced things such as emotional and physical abuse, betrayal and rejection and had been holding onto them which was causing bitterness and anger to be built up against both the perpetrators and/or God.
Dr Karen Swatz, of Johns Hopkins Hospital, also states clearly, “There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed. Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. Those changes then increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.”
God shows us the biggest injustice of all time and how He responded! He forgave each and every one of our sins when He so easily could have allowed us eternal separation from Him. Instead, He allowed us to come into His presence, experience a relationship with Him and live eternally in heaven. If He could forgive our sins through His Son, then how much more should we forgive the wrongdoings of our debtors?
“But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
(Romans chapter 5, verse 8)
In the end, forgiveness is not the same as justice, instead it is our freedom.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
(Matthew chapter 6, verse 14-15)
Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive in order to be set free?
Mary Iengo is a medical student at Flinders University and leader at her local church. She lives with her family in Adelaide and has a passion for the political arena. Mary aims to write from a personal and practical stance to share the love of God and see people live for Him.
Mary Iengo is a medical student at Flinders University and leader at her local church. She lives with her family in Adelaide and has a passion for the political arena. Mary aims to write from a personal and practical stance to share the love of God and see people live for him. More articles by Mary Iengo can be viewed here: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mary-iengo.html