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posted: 7/23/2014 10:09 AM

Forgiveness is the first step to healing

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By Annettee Budzban

"Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him with oil in the Lord's name. And the prayer (that is) of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven."

-- James 5: 14,15 (AMP)

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Healing comes in many forms. We need healing for emotional wounds, negative thinking, and physical disease. Sometimes, we need all three.

When I need physical healing (I pray for this every day due to a chronic health condition I have been challenged with), oftentimes I start with a prayer for forgiveness.

Forgiveness heals our emotional wounds, soothes our hurts and cleanses our soul. Have you received God's gift of forgiveness? God loved us so much he sent Jesus to die on the cross so we could be forgiven and live a healthy life.

First, we ask for forgiveness for our sins through Jesus' atonement for our sins, not because we are good enough, but because he was God's gift to cover and cleanse our sins.

Receiving this gift can release our emotional burden for what we've done. If we have trouble receiving forgiveness -- I know in the past at times I have -- let God know you need his help to receive his forgiveness. Then proceed to state you receive it. Then forgive yourself.

Forgiving yourself doesn't mean you have the power to forgive yourself, it means because Jesus paid the price for your sins you can forgive yourself. To clear things up, yes, we should feel sorry for our sins. That sorrow should lead us to seek God's forgiveness and help us to work on changing our ways.

The third part of forgiveness is forgiving others who have wronged us.

It doesn't mean what they did to us was right, it just means we can choose to forgive it and move on. That sets us free in our emotions and brings healing to our mind and emotions.

I've heard of accounts where people have been physically healed by forgiving a wrong done to them. It's a powerful spiritual principle.

After you've followed these steps, if the devil tries to bring these thoughts to your mind, remind yourself you've been set free from that sin. Speak as though you are assured of it.

God informs us he remembers our sins no more. So we should learn to do the same.

I pray today you feel freer, healthier, happier, and more confident as you forgive and receive forgiveness. It's a principle that helps us excel in life.

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. Do you need healing from a broken heart or a physical ailment? Join Annettee at 3 p.m. July 26 at Panera Bread in Round Lake Beach. She can be contacted at Annetteebudzban@aol.com or (847) 543-8413. She is available to speak to your group.

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