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FORGIVENESS STOPS US FROM BECOMING NEGATIVE
by Tai Ikomi
10/28/2016 / Christian Living
Forgiving our offenders blesses many areas of our lives, rewarding us in rich dividends. When we refuse to forgive, repercussions await us in places we least expect them. For example, the benefit of forgiveness extends to our attitude and consequently our social life.
FORGIVENESS STOPS US FROM BEING IN A BAD MOOD
When we are offended, we become angry, hurt, and insolent. The anger we feel, although it may be delayed, is in essence being unforgiving, and it may lead to a bad mood where we choose to remain for quite some time.
Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools (Ecclesiastes 7:9).
Perhaps our spouse upset us in the morning before we left for work. Unless we deal with it, the situation puts us in an angry mood. People at work become our targets to pour out our frustration on: everyone gets on our nerves. It takes only a little to upset us. The negative mood has made us into what ordinarily we are not.
Saul's mood was negative because of his anger and unforgiving attitude toward David. He was angry with David, but his bad mood extended to Jonathan, his son. Saul lambasted Jonathan for allying with David his enemy, a false accusation. However, it did not stop there; his anger extended to his mother, who was probably Saul's queen. He insulted her as well.
Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious [woman], do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness? (1 Samuel 20:30)
When Jonathan challenged his father for wanting to kill David, he replied to him by throwing a javelin at him.
And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David (1 Samuel 20:33).
His anger had blinded him. His negative mood led him to risk the life of his own son and heir. When anger is fuelled by continued unforgiveness, there is no telling what could happen.
THE BAD MOOD MAY BECOME PERMANENT
If we constantly allow this negative mood to fester in our lives, it may soon become a habit. This habit forms into a character trait, which then leads to a fully-grown root of bitterness. It is no longer confined to an occasional mood swing; it has practically become a daily fixture of our lives. In other words, the constant negative mood swings have degenerated into complete and constant bitterness.
This bitterness will affect how we treat those around us. Most of the time, we are short tempered with them because of the permanent patches of pain inside of us. We are hurting inside. Our attitude has turned us into negative individuals, making us impossible to live with. Sometimes, we ask ourselves "Why am I so angry, even with innocent people?" or "Why am I so short tempered?" or even "Why am I pessimistic about life or suspicious of people?"
The answer is simple: hurting people makes us this way. We have been damaged; we can only give what we have.
Being unforgiving in daily living is at the root of many problems in our relationships at work, with our family, and even in the church. A bad mood will affect our actions. It will affect our role as a husband or a wife when we lash out at our spouse. We do not see eye to eye with our spouse because we are angry all the time. This bad mood has blinded us to the point that we are unable to identify with our spouse's point of view. Our emotions are all mangled. The constant refusal to forgive has led to a root of bitterness. The root is a foundation on which the tree grows, and when we are rooted in bitterness, it will reflect in our words, our actions, and indeed our thoughts.
The Bible warns against nursing root of bitterness, which will affect every branch of our lives.
"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled" (Hebrews 12:15).
FORGIVENESS TAKES US OUT OF THE BAD MOOD
Forgiveness, on the other hand, has a way of helping us maintain a positive, happy mood. After forgiving our spouse, we release the offense, the anger, and the pain, and we avoid entering into a bad mood. We do not lash out at our spouse or at people around us because we are no longer on edge; it is because we are at peace. No wonder joy and peace are named among the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
In conclusion, when we forgive the one who hurt us yesterday, we are free to face tomorrow without any baggage. Forgiveness shields us from negative mood swings and worse ? a permanent root of bitterness. When the hurt is deep, and we release our offender of their offense, this shows our trust in God to impart His peace and balm to our wounded emotions.
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones (Isaiah 57:15).
Father God, I pray that you give me the grace to forgive quickly and avoid becoming trapped in a bad mood. May I not allow an unforgiving spirit to change my personality or to burden others with my pain and frustration. When I have done so, I ask that you forgive me. Thank you Lord for helping me.
FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSIONS
1. How do you feel when you have not forgiven someone?
2. How does it feel when someone has not forgiven you?
3. What are some of the consequences you experience because of having a bad mood?
4. What is the most important lesson you've learned in this chapter??
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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