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Daily Digest: Capstone Capsule

FORGIVING HEARTS, HEALING & HEALTH (4)

Date: 
Friday, August 12, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Colossians 3: 12-21

Bearing with one another, and FORGIVING one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as CHRIST FORGAVE you... – Colossians 3:13                   

FORGIVING HEARTS are critical to experiencing Love, HEALING and HEALTH in Marriage: “Bearing with one another, and FORGIVING one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Col.3:13). The marriage setting is practical scenario to test and confirm a Forgiving Heart. Couples are faced with a variety of situations, both serious and mundane, in which grace for forgiveness can be tested. In the marriage environment, we learn to forgive and to say “I am sorry” even when we’re not convinced that we were wrong. We learn to let go of our hurts and resolve our areas of conflict amicably. The Colossian counsel is closely followed by specific instructions to members of the Christian home: wives (v.18), husbands (v.19), children (v.19), and parents (v.21).

Forgiveness isn’t always easy because it can sometimes be confused with condoning what someone has done to us. Also, it’s hard to accept when the person who wronged us doesn’t seem to deserve our forgiveness. It can feel like we’re letting them “off the hook.” While this feeling is completely understandable, it’s vital to realise that forgiveness allows us to let go of an unhealthy connection with those who have wronged us, and move forward – with or without them. Being unforgiving takes a physical and mental toll. Despite how hard it can sometimes be to forgive, this positive life-attitude is good for both the spiritual and physical hearts, for the body, and for our relationships.

We must remember that we forgive primarily for our own sake. Forgiveness involves severing emotional attachment to a negative event. It’s like taking one’s hand away from a hot burner on the stove – the burner remains hot, but we move away from it for our own safety. In particular, being able to forgive and to let go of past hurts is a critical tool in marriage, as well as a way to keep ourselves healthy – spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It is one of the most important ways to keep marital and other relationships strong and vibrant.

Partners who hold on to old hurts, anger, betrayals, disappointments, petty annoyances, and insensitivity, are wasting time and energy. Nursing hurts – whether real or perceived – for too long, can eventually degenerate into harmful hate and extreme bitterness. Resentment gains momentum and chips away at the foundation of well-being and relationships. Lack of forgiveness wears one down. Health experts have reported that the act of forgiveness can reduce pain and the risk of heart attack, lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, improve sleep, and decrease levels of anxiety, depression, and stress.

Practically, there are varied techniques that can be adopted to find a place of forgiveness in the face of hurt or betrayal in the marriage. Of course, hurts differ in severity. It is obviously more difficult to forgive a spouse for years of infidelity than it is for a minor slip such a delaying paying the bill or forgetting the wedding anniversary. Yet, the Grace of God is sufficient for every situation. Whatever the case may be, spouses must: Be open and receptive to forgiveness; make a conscious decision to forgive; refrain from throwing a mistake back in the spouse’s face at a later date – using it as an ammunition in an argument; and refrain from seeking revenge or retribution.

Marriage, like other close relationships, needs forgiveness to thrive. No healthy relationship can be sustained over a long period of time without forgiveness. To err is human. Everyone makes mistakes. We all have grumpy days. We sometimes say things we don’t mean. Everyone needs to forgive and to be forgiven. Cultivating a Forgiving Heart is crucial for the long haul. However, in situations of extended periods or unrelenting recurrence of abuse, betrayal, or violence, despite efforts to forgive, it’s important to realise that sometimes trust has been broken in such a way that reconciliation may not be in the best interest of a relationship. Forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation, especially where lives and eternal destinies are at risk.

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Prayer: 
Lord, grant us Grace to cultivate FORGIVING HEARTS and enjoy HEALING and HEALTH in marriage and other relationships, in Jesus name.
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