The Power of Forgiveness
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
Proverbs 17:9 NLT
Let’s talk about the power of forgiveness. Years ago, I read a study by a group of doctors and psychologists in which they claimed if people could learn to forgive, they could empty 75% of the patients in hospitals. And they were not talking about those in mental hospitals—but those with physical sicknesses.
Their work indicated a lack of forgiveness actually causes physical sickness—not to mention what it does to relationships.
As a pastor, I have worked with a number of families—some even in ministry—who can’t seem to forgive each other. They have lived for years with broken relationships in their family for things that happened years ago.
I have worked with people who can tell you every detail—at least as they remember the details—of things that were said and done twenty-five or forty years ago. They seem to even enjoy rehearsing the stories and the version of “truth” they have lived with all these years.
Solomon tells us that dwelling on faults separates close friends. I can add that it separates marriages, parents and children, siblings, and church members. When we choose to dwell on the faults of others, we develop a narrative that is hard to overcome. We justify our narrative by taking bits and pieces of things done and said and adding them to our story. Before long, we feel totally justified in hating someone that God created.
What freedom could happen if every follower of Christ looked into our own hearts and decided to forgive, decided to stop rehearsing the faults of others?
Holy Spirit, please show me any unforgiveness in my heart. Today, I choose to live in forgiveness. I refuse to be a slave to the faults of others.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.