Forgiveness is good for the heart and soul

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

- Ephesians 4:32

I like the thought that forgiveness is "doing ourselves a favor." For many, the concept to forgive doesn't seem right when they have been wronged. But there are harmful effects to holding on to a grudge.

God instructs us to forgive because it is the healthy thing to do. It is spiritually unhealthy because our souls and spirits were not created to be blocked by bitterness, which hinders us from full intimacy with God.

It is emotionally unhealthy because it blocks joy and peace from freely flowing from our hearts and minds. This is what causes stress. As a nurse, I know that the constant pressure of stress releases too much adrenaline hormone and can damage our bodies' organs.

Because of the toxic affect it has on our bodies and souls, I've heard it put that to be unforgiving is like drinking poison and expecting it to hurt someone else.

I've heard that, on occasion, individuals have actually encountered physical healing when they let go of their grudges.

To forgive someone or something doesn't mean we weren't wronged. Some of the people we forgive may not know they've done anything wrong. Others may not be sorry for what they've done. But, in any case, forgiveness is needed.

Many people don't forgive because they don't understand the concept. To forgive means you are willing to stop being bitter over something you can't change and leave it in God's hands.

In severe cases, when we have suffered a wrong done to us, forgiveness doesn't mean we simply throw caution to the wind and trust. Nor does it mean we never bring correction or confront the issue when necessary. It means we chose to forgive what happened.

When we make a decision to forgive, we may not feel like doing it, but choose to do so knowing it is the right thing to do. If our feelings don't support our choice right away, we can keep asking God to help us until our feelings catch up with our decision.

God forgave us, and instructs that we follow that example toward others. As we practice God's principle of forgiveness, instead of being bitter, we can become better.

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She can be contacted at or (847) 543-8413.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.