At least one time or another we have been hurt by someone. Whether it was a business partner, parent, children or friends it was painful. Since we are all unique, communicate differently, and view things completely opposite of each other, disagreements are inevitable, but it is important to forgive. Although it’s difficult it is necessary.
Because of our differences, what bothers one person may not affect someone else. One can address a situation and move on, while others can’t let it go. Unforgiveness is a horrible thing to live with and when a person can’t release someone from their wrong doings; it can be like a disease that infects the heart. At times a person may not even realize it, but unforgiveness manifests itself in many ways.
Emotional Health: When an individual dwells on the past event, they become controlled by it. They think about it continually, sometimes plot revenge, and in some cases act on it. What they don’t realize is, forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you’re allowing or giving someone permission to do it again; it means that you are choosing to move on and put the situation in the past where it belongs.
Relationships: Unforgiveness can also affect our relationships with those close to us. Others can be brought into the conflict and forced to take the side [out of obligation] of one of the parties. Instead of just two people fighting, there are now three. Another wedge is pushed in between them and a new bitterness fills the heart. One broken relationship turns into two and if forgiveness doesn’t take place soon, it could mean a lifetime of distance and unhappiness.
Physical Health: A healthy lifestyle is what many people value, but when they are angry, they seek out ways to escape their situation and their way of dealing with things is usually self destructive. Some people overeat or don’t eat at all, and some turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to forget. When something weighs heavy on the mind it also hinders or interrupts a person’s sleep. Without proper rest, their bodies are susceptible to sickness and then before you know it, they have a forgiveness issue and a physical decline.
Spiritual Health: In having a relationship with God, we are to love one another. But without forgiveness it is impossible to do that. The bitterness that consumes us hinders our relationship with God and without obedience it is hard to please Him.
When we discover the affects that unforgiveness has on our lives, you’ll see that choosing the alternative can be freeing and is important that it happens. Not only will our lives be happier, our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health depend on it.