Forgiveness is Good Medicine

Of the 365 days on the calendar, three are more time oriented than the other 362. Two of them are associated with a specific hour in which the hours of clocks either spring forward or fall back 60 minutes. The third day is a festive occasion where people bid farewell to the year that was and celebrate the potential and promise of the year that will be.

Every year is like each day—there is a sunrise and a sunset to each one and the interluding period between the two is filled with joys and sorrows, rights and wrongs, and victories and failures.

As I write this, we are minutes away from the final sunset of 2020, and I’m reminded of Paul’s admonition to the church at Ephesus: “Don’t let the sun set on your anger.”

Several years ago, I read Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness (Harper Collins 2002). After reading this book, I concluded: Smoldering anger and spiteful resentment will rob us of joyful contentment.

Fred Luskin, the author of the book, believes that carrying a grudge raises your blood pressure, depletes immune function, makes you more depressed and causes enormous physical stress to the whole body.  Forgiveness interrupts this downward spiral by purging the toxic mixture of anger, bitterness, hatred, and resentment.

Since the health benefits of forgiving far outweigh the disadvantages of nursing a grudge, I encourage you enter 2021 with a spirit of forgiveness.

Like  Bil Keane (Family Circus) has said:  Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”

I encourage you to use the present to give the gift of forgiveness.  The one who gives will be as blessed as the one who receives.

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