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5 Ways Forgiveness Brings Emotional Relief
by Tai Ikomi
12/07/2015 / Christian Living
Tormenting nature of Refusing to Forgive
A man was owed a large amount of money. When all avenues to receive payment had been exhausted, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with all he had. He fell on his knees and begged for a little more time to pay what he owed; he asked for patience.
Out of sheer mercy, his lord absolved him and told him he was free to go. The debt had been cancelled. The same servant found a fellow servant and threw him into prison because he was unable to pay a comparatively much smaller debt he owed the forgiven fellow servant.
When his lord heard of what he had done, he was angry because the servant who had been forgiven so much did not extend the same compassion that had been shown to another.
Jesus concluded this short story of the Unforgiving Servant by saying that he was cast into a prison of tormentors for failing to forgive his fellow worker.
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him" (Matthew 18:34).
What a descent from a height of joy after having been forgiven! His refusal to forgive incurred such a stiff punishment. He found himself in a prison where he was continually tormented. The same consequences hold true today.
When we are offended, many different negative emotions bombard and torment us.
We may experience anger, which causes us to suffer. It suffocates us, truth be told, as no one is comfortable when they are angry. It is a torment.
We feel hurt because we have been offended. Hurt is like a wound in our hearts that can lead to depression and sadness. That too is a torment. When we are offended, we become restless. Restlessness rids us of serenity; we lose peace or, from time to time, a good night's sleep.
Resentment is also a torment. When we are offended, we become resentful. Being resentful often renews the in us feelings of hurt and the anger as well as the pain associated with the offense. We want to retaliate.
Retaliation is another tormentor that preoccupies our minds and tempts our hearts to do evil, courses of action that may eventually backfire.
5. Health Hazard
When all these emotions are combined, they not only torment our emotional stability,, but our health may also be in jeopardy. An unforgiving heart is indeed its own tormentor.
So teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom" (Psalms 90:12).
Forgiveness is a release from these tormentors
The good news is that in releasing the offense and the offender, these negative emotions are also released automatically. They accompanied the offense.
The emotional relief we experience after having done the right thing is a sign of forgiveness. In forgiving our offender, our torments will release us from their grasp. Forgiveness frees us from the hurt the offense gave us.
Once we forgive, the sadness disappears. With our forgiveness, we no longer blame our offender, so there is no longer any grounds for remaining angry. When we forgive, we are no longer restlessness because we have found peace. When we forgive, the tormentors disappear and peace reigns. When we do what is right, we shall be blessed with a sense of tranquility in our hearts.
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever (Isaiah 32:17).
The day I forgave the young man who had taken away my husband and the children I brought into the world marked a day of joy. As I confessed out loud that I forgave him, I eventually came to mean it.
The moment I forgave, I was freed from anger, pain, and all the negative emotions I felt towards that young man. It was instantaneous. I would not want to go back to that place of having an unforgiving heart again. I have found a better option.
In conclusion, when we forgive, we are set free from various types of tormentors. When they leave, a sense of freedom rests in their place. There is nothing like it. The Son of God, by His very commandments, has set us free. His truth is emancipating.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).
Dr. Tai Ikomi is an author of over 30 books .and a conference speaker. She gives seminars on the Names of God and forgiveness after forgiving the drunk man who killed her entire family. She is the founder of Forgiveness Discipleship.
Dr. Tai Ikomi
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