By Dan Polecheck
The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. – 1 John 2:9-11
Forgiveness is not only good for your soul. It is also good for your physical health.
Thinking about your offenders will only invoke stronger negative feelings or emotions and will cause your stress level to go up. When you look at your offender in a forgiving frame of mind in reduces stress by invoking less negative feelings and emotions.
Research definitely indicates a relationship between forgiveness and heart disease. Holding a grudge can cause you to become bitter, angry, and depressed. All these emotions can actually prevent or slow the body’s ability to heal itself. People who score high on the forgiveness scale have less anger, depression, and anxiety and are at lower risk for cardiovascular disease.
Holding a grudge is a sin. We are told in Mark to, “love your neighbor as yourself”. It is the second greatest commandment. When we are in sin, we are in darkness and cannot be forgiven. When we sin, we are no longer faithful to our union with God. This is not good for our soul.
Forgiveness, therefore restores our soul and our body so we may be spiritually and physically stronger.