In my research for sermons, Bible studies, and faith-based discussions in the life of the church, I often encounter material that is worth sharing. At other times, wise insights seem to find me, even when I am not actively seeking them out. Today’s reflections come from the Board of Pensions of our denomination as ordained clergy are called to embrace the call to holistically improving our health.
As Christians, we recognize that Jesus instructed us to forgive. Yet, few of us consider the many benefits of doing so. The recommendations below are timeless and universal. May the rhythm of your day provide space for these practices to flourish.
Peace and best wishes,
Do you sometimes struggle with forgiveness? Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you excuse their behavior, and it doesn’t even mean you have to reconcile. Forgiveness is about releasing a grudge, letting go of painful feelings and moving forward. And doing so is incredibly beneficial to your mental and physical well-being.
Research shows that when you hold onto anger, you’re in a state of adrenaline, which results in high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and low immunity. On the flip side, when you forgive, your blood pressure is lower, you sleep better, have fewer physical complaints and feel better overall.
Here are some ways you can work on forgiveness in your life:
- Write down your feelings: Identifying your feelings of anger or resentment is important as it will give you greater awareness of your level of pain. If it helps, take a moment and write down your feelings.
- Release your feelings: Some people find that a physical release helps them let go of extra adrenaline. For example, going for a run, a walk or some other type of physical exercise may help.
- Meditate: If you regularly meditate, you know that part of your practice is to work on letting go of feelings that may distract or weigh you down. A meditation practice can help with learning how to forgive.
- Talk to someone: Lean on your support system of friends and family if you need help with forgiveness. Or find a therapist or professional who can help you with talk therapy and provide you with the right tools to move forward with forgiveness.