Archive for December, 2012

Forgiveness

forgivethemeveniftheyarenotsorry

I am working on my daily devotions.  This was something that I wasn’t really taught as a child. My mother’s motto was “Work, work, work.”  And I’m sorry, but I inherited that motto.  Or let’s say, it was drummed into me.  To this day, I can’t sit down and do nothing without feeling guilty.  My mother’s chastisement comes to me unconsciously.  “Linda?  What are you doing,” she used to holler from the kitchen as I sat in my room.  “Nothing,” was my reply.  “Then get busy,” she would instruct.  Today, I can’t even watch TV without having something else to do.  The laptop computer makes that easy.  I can read mail, check out facebook, even play stupid computer games, and at least feel like I’m doing something.

Bill and I went to a seminar at church on how to study the bible.  We got the book, Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods.  It has been very helpful.  In the past, I used to read the Bible daily, working on the goal of reading it from cover to cover in a year.  That is possible, reading only 3 chapters a day.  I’ve done it once.  But now I want to do more depth study.  One of the ways to study the Bible is to pick a theme.  Then read all the scripture pertaining to that theme.  I know what my first theme would be–FORGIVENESS.

            Here is where the computer is very helpful.  You can just google “scripture verses about forgiving others” and come up with lists.  A great resource for this is http://www.openbible.info.topics.  They have 33 verses on forgiving others.

            I’ve been working on forgiving those who hurt me all my life.  And I know how important it is.  Forgiving others that hurt you is important for your health.  Because the anger and resentment that you carry only causes you stress.  It doesn’t hurt them at all. And the stress in your body causes acidity, which leads to toxin buildup, which leads to tissue breakdown, which leads to disease.  Did you know that every cancer has an emotional beginning?  If you or someone you love has had cancer, think about when it started.  Go a few months to years before, and evaluate.  Were there any emotional traumas in your (or their) life?  More than likely there were.

            I have a book on forgiveness written by Robin Casarjian that I used to share with patients that had problems.  I recommend it to anyone having difficulty in this area.

            Forgiveness is a process.  It doesn’t just happen at the thought of “I’m going to forgive this person.”  You have to work at it.  But through prayer and application, over time, it does occur.  Sometimes it is just like a lightning bolt.  I know that is how it happened that I forgave Marty’s daughter, Laura.  Laura, in my opinion, was the cause of Marty and me splitting up.  Looking back at it, she probably wasn’t the only cause.  But she did cause us our only arguments in our marriage.  At that time I was trying to find forgiveness.  I read the scriptures listed in the bible, and suddenly, my heart felt warm.  I actually felt no more animosity toward her.  It didn’t help much, because Marty was already on his way out of my life, and that was a God-appointed decision as well.  At the time I didn’t recognize that, however, but now I do.

Right now, I have so many people that I am working on forgiving.  In the Bible, Matthew 18, 21-22 says “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

           I think that what Jesus means here is that you have to keep working at it.  It might not happen the first time you say “I’m going to forgive.”  But if you keep saying it over and over, day after day, it eventually does happen.

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