SIXTY-ONE percent of cancer victims are also saddled with experiences of un-forgiveness or resentment (Counselling Directory). From that we may conclude that there is a strong correlation between harbouring un-forgiveness and becoming severely sick.
Un-forgiveness is clinging to yesterday’s problem or bygones
One day, two monks were walking through the countryside. As they walked, they spied an old woman sitting at the edge of a river. She was upset because there was no bridge, and she could not get across on her own. The first monk kindly offered, “We will carry you across if you would like.” “Thank you,” she said gratefully…. So, [they] … carried her across the river. When they got to the other side, she went on her way. After they had walked another mile or so, the second monk began to complain. “Look at my clothes,” he said. “They are filthy from carrying that woman. And my back still hurts from lifting her.” The first monk just smiled and nodded his head. A few more miles up the road, the second monk griped again, “My back is hurting me so badly, and it is all because we had to carry that silly woman across the river! I cannot go any farther because of the pain.” The first monk looked down at his partner, now lying on the ground, moaning. “Have you wondered why I am not complaining?” he asked. “Your back hurts because you are still carrying the woman. But I set her down five miles ago” (Anonymous).
Un-forgiveness defined: Un-forgiveness is when you are unwilling or unable to release someone for hurting, betraying, breaking your trust or causing you intense emotional pain (Counselling Directory). It is holding on to pain someone caused you in the past.
Losing because of un-forgiveness
“You do not have enough strength to manage yesterday’s problems. Your strength is equal to your days” (Deut. 33:25). God is more concerned with your duties for the present. The second monk remained saddled with a burden which he had already finished carrying, and that attitude encumbered his energy for the remainder of the journey. He was mentally crippled by what transpired 10 miles in the past. Similarly, we are sometimes so concerned with who hurt us yesterday, with who lied on us last week, with who deceived us last month, with who cheated on us last year and what our family did to us 40 years ago, that we are blinded to the blessings and opportunities of today.
Have you ever heard some women express the feeling that all men are dogs? The implication is that men they value most such as fathers and brothers are canines. However, under closer examination, they do not truly believe that. They are only painting all men with the brush that painted some of the men they have encountered. These women continue to carry the hurt, abuse and scars of those past relationships. And because of that, they cannot embrace new and promising relationships. Those reasons demonstrate that forgiveness is a more fruitful endeavour.
Choose forgiveness instead of resentment
Forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance towards another party who harmed you, whether they deserve it or not. Think about this – Christ died for us while we were his enemies.
What is resentment?
It is the strong and painful bitterness you feel when someone does something wrong to you; it doesn’t have actual physical weight, but it feels very heavy and can last a long time. Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemy (Boyd Baily).
Kindness instead of resentment
“I’ve had a few arguments with people,” comedian Buddy Hackett once confessed, “but I never carry a grudge, [because] while you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.” Forgiveness is one way to get rid of bitterness. The whole time you are resenting someone, they may not even know it. Luke 23: 33-34. Instead the bible says: Love your enemies, do good to those who despitefully use you (Eph. 4:32).
Benefits of forgiveness:
- Lower blood pressure: When we no longer feel anxiety or anger because of past grievances, our heart rate evens out, and our blood pressure drops.
- Stress reduction: Whether you’ve chosen a religion or not, forgiveness will bring you closer to Spirit. When we ask God for help and offer our fear, sadness and pain as a prayer, we receive peace and divine love in return. This is true healing (wisdomtimes.com).
How to forgive:
- Relinquish your right to get even: The Bible says in Romans 12:19 (TLB), “Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God,
- Refocus on God’s purpose for your life: The Bible tells us in Job 11: 13-16, “Put your heart right, reach out to God,
- Respond to evil with good: Paul tells us in Romans 12:21 (NIV), “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rick Warren).