What is the healing power big pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to discover? …
The wince on her face and hand on her back broadcast the woman’s discomfort. Her friend helped the aching woman ease down into the chair then turned to me. “It’s her back, please pray for her.” I nodded a silent agreement and closed my eyes to pray and listen. A word popped into my mind and thumped in my heart. I opened my eyes and asked a question my mind didn’t have time to register, “Have you been fighting with your husband?”
Her eyes widened and she slowly nodded.
“Is there something he did, that you won’t forgive?”
A single tear dripped down her swollen eyes. Her eyes glanced down as she nodded.
“I can pray for your back and it might feel better, but your problem is the bitterness that you are allowing to poison your soul.”
I explained that forgiveness does not mean being ok with how some treats us or even forgetting about it, but rather, no longer holding a debt against the offender. I also told her that it was a choice. I asked if she would like to forgive her husband and she nodded. We prayed together and she released her husband from any obligations, out of love. She thanked me, and said that she felt so much better! I asked about her back. She stood, arched her spine, twisted back and forth and exclaimed: “It’s all better!”
“There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed,” says Karen Swartz, M.D. , director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital (1). Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions.
Forgiveness, however, calms stress”
There’s is so much research on the healing power of forgiveness that I really shouldn’t have to sight many more resources. A medical contributor at Huffington post who was taking an opposing viewpoint to a colleague’s book about healing through forgiveness, begrudgingly admitted “There is plenty of evidence to show that holding on to unresolved resentment for perceived transgressions depletes immune function and causes enormous physical stress to the whole body. Indeed forgiving people scores better on just about every measure of psychological well being.” (2)
If you are struggling with a physical ailment as well as struggling to forgive, I encourage you to read this article Stanford Medical published: Four Stages of Forgiveness
So why is forgiveness so hard? Why are so many sick from bitterness, and how on earth do you forgive when injustice has been done? One expert said, “Whereas, in most religions, forgiveness is recommended, in Christianity it is required.” Since the perfect person of Jesus Christ forgave us of all we did and will do wrong, we must also forgive any who have done wrong to us.
Forgiveness is a choice…. and a process.
Feeling hurt by someone has little to do with forgiveness. As a matter of fact, feeling hurt is healthy and normal. But letting that hurt control you leads to anger, rage, and bitterness. Instead, look past the hurt, choose to pray for them or think good thoughts towards them, in spite of what they have done to you. That is when true Christ-like nature will shine!
Personally, I run into memories and of those who’ve hurt me and can be tempted to relive that hurt, leading to self-pity and then taking up the offensive again…to combat that I will say out loud (if I can) “I have forgiven that person already!” I’ll say it about five times or until I truly feel it in my gut!
I encourage you to do the same or to do whatever helps you release feelings of unforgiveness. If someone who hurt you is popping to your mind right now, maybe you too can experience the same healing that the lady I prayed for did in her back. What do you have to lose?
Is there someone you just can’t or won’t forgive, but you know you need help to release unforgiveness? I’d love to chat. If you want me to pray for you or with you, please don’t hesitate to ask!
(Please note: I am not a doctor nor am I stating that forgiveness is the main or only factor to being healed; there are often numerous factors contributing to one experiencing physical or emotional illnesses… many times completely out of the individual’s control. Forgiveness is just one element that some individuals need to address in their journey towards freedom – emotionally and physically!)