Examples of forgiveness in the Bible are forthcoming, but first I’d like to cover a few important aspects of forgiveness. In simple terms, forgiveness is an act whereby we extend mercy and kindness to a person who has caused us hurt or harm.
- Forgiveness is a key principle and even better, an action which is central to many faiths. And regardless of religious affiliations…
- Forgiveness is an act which promotes health and well-being in any human being.
- Forgiveness impacts life on many levels, including longevity and quality of life.
- Forgiveness and lack of forgiveness have major implications on healthy aging.
Jesus goes as far as to say that we will not be forgiven if we do not forgive (Matthew 6:15). If we are unforgiving, we run the risk of bringing that anger and resentment into every new relationship. It can cause us to be anxious or depressed, and can steal our present joy as we concentrate on the past.
To stay on subject, I will relate this to issues involving healthy aging. There are life events which cause aging people anguish of body or mind. We are faced with forgiveness opportunities consistently. Children who don’t visit, our mistakes in parenting, betrayals in friendships, friends and family dying, failing health, loneliness, and life going by with dreams not realized are just a few.
Aging happens, and its effects are seen every day as a reflection in the mirror. When we see that aging person looking back at us, it can cause anguish of mind. Right? It needs forgiveness. These events and many more can build up day by day, until the chemistry in the brain begins to change. Forgiveness is a heart issue yes, but it affects the whole person, body, mind and spirit.
Here are Two Examples of Forgiveness in the Bible
The first is the story of the woman caught in adultery.
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8:1-11 NLT
As far as examples of forgiveness in the Bible go, there is probably none greater than the account of Jesus on the cross. After being beaten, betrayed and hung on a cross to die, some of His last words were heard, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
I realize forgiveness can be a heavy thing. Some things that happen to us are very hard to forgive, but in order to thrive, we must. If we do not forgive, we are not on the side of goodness and mercy. It will eat away at us in some way, shape or form. Try to exemplify these two examples of forgiveness in the Bible…Forgive others, yourself, and God, and you will thrive!
Thrive! OK? … Robin