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The Mayo Clinic performed a study several years back that determined that forgiveness could likely lead a person “down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.” The study pointed out that letting go of grudges and bitterness paved the way for peace, hope gratitude and joy. According to the research, people who were able to forgive possessed:
#1 Healthier relationships,
#2 Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
#3 Less anxiety, stress and hostility
#4 Lower blood pressure
#5 Fewer symptoms of depression
#6 Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse
#7 Greater potential for a longer life.
It is interesting to note that forgiveness is one of Jesus’ central themes in his teaching. In fact, the subject is mentioned over fifty times in the gospels alone. Thus, forgiveness is part of living the abundant life that Jesus has designed for us. (John 10:10) We have been designed by God to be people of forgiveness. Yet we often live our daily lives outside of this central tenant of our faith. If we can’t forgive we actually bring harm to our lives and allowing the thief to “steal, kill, and destroy.” God has written into our DNA or programmed our hardware in such a way that we function more perfectly when we purge our system of bitterness and anger towards others. Like my computer that is frequently slowed down by spywares or viruses, many people are walking around with poorly performing systems because they have not received their antivirus that Jesus provides for them – forgiving others.
Fellow brother or sister, is there someone you need to forgive today? Don’t delay. When you delay you are delaying your abundant life that Jesus desires for you.