Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
3 John 1.2
When working to restore one's health forgiveness is critical. Good health begins with forgiving ourselves and others.
Constant anger and unforgiveness results in the faltering of body functions, causing us to age faster and bringing disease. "Hatred proves disputes; love covers all offenses." (Proverbs 10:12) R. Smith
A recent nationwide survey revealed that 97% of doctors believe that emotions can affect the body's ability to fight disease.
A Society for Behavior Medicine study claims that women are less forgiving than men.
A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. Proverbs 17:22
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.." (Corinthians: 13)
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Heart rates and blood pressures were 2 1/2 times lower when participants forgave than when they held grudges. Holding a grudge also made them sweat, a sign that their nervous systems were on high alert. Forgiveness left them feeling calm and in control. "Participants felt significantly more negative, angry, and sad during the unforgiving condition than during the forgiving condition,'' explains Charlotte Vanoyen Witvliet, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the college (Psychological Science, Mar 2001).
Prevention, Feb2002, Vol. 54 Issue 2, p38, 2p, 1c
Emotional distress and mental depression produce toxic substances in the body that can be eliminated only through total forgiveness, tears, lifestyle changes, and improved diet. W. Bowles
Laughter, gentleness and forgiveness prevent those toxins which the anger tends to create, and the sum result is health instead of illness. E. Cayce
UnForgiveness Will MakeBut it doesn't have to be that way!
and Keep You Sick
In the early 1980's we spent a good deal of time studying the Word of God concerning healing and miracles. (The Word of God is quite clear. God has made complete provision for our healing.) Putting God's word to work we saw God confirm that Word with healings and miracles. During this time we met a lady who had a life threatening lung condition. Her lungs were like leather and it was difficult for her to breath. Kathy and I shared with her and her husband what the Word of God says about healing. We then prayed in faith for her expecting to see the power of God make or begin to make her whole. There was a very strong presence of God (or anointing) as we prayed with her. Yet she did not receive. It was as if she repelled God's healing instead of receiving it. We prayed several times yet with the same results. So we returned home asking God why she would not receive her healing. Several days later a scripture came to mind. The scripture is found in Proverbs 18:14 "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?" As I thought on this verse from the Bible I believe that Holy Spirit caused me to understand what this lady's problem was. Her spirit was wounded.
We went back to visit this lady and I told her that God had given me a scripture for her and read Proverbs 18.14 to her. I then explained to her that one of the things that can wound our spirit is unforgiveness and that unforgiveness could prevent her spirit from sustaining the life of her body and could very well prevent her from receiving healing. I asked her if she had unforgiveness towards someone. Her response was more than I had expected. She told us that when she was young a well respected man in her community had physically taken advantage of her wheelchair-bound Grandmother. She swore as a child that she would never forgive him and she still hated him with a passion. We told her that she must forgive him but she said she could not. She had tried before and she simply could not forgive this man. We quieted her down and prayed for her, commanding the spirit of unforgiveness and hatred to go from her in Jesus name. We then led her in a prayer where she asked God to forgive her and to help her forgive this man for what he had done to her Grandmother. She began to cry with relief as God worked in her heart. Then Holy Spirit took over and this lady and her husband spent the next 30 minutes confessing sins, forgiving one another and receiving forgiveness from one another and from God. It was an amazing sight. We then prayed for her healing and there was a noticeable difference as she received the healing power of God and her breathing ability improved.
I don't know the technical/medical explanations as to how unforgiveness upsets the chemical balance in our bodies however I do know that unforgiveness will give place to sickness and disease in our bodies. Unforgiveness can also prevent us from getting better. The Word of God tells us the following
Matthew 18:21-35 contains a parable on forgiveness. In verses 34-35 Jesus said "And his lord was outraged, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. In the same manner shall my heavenly Father do also to you, if you from your hearts do not forgive your brother sisters unintentional or willful offenses."
Mark 11:25-26 And when ye are praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
The great news is that we do not have to live with unforgiveness. God sent his son Jesus to the earth to take our sins for us and provide us with forgiveness (and so much more). Not just forgiveness in a spiritual or religious sense, but cleansing so complete that it has no more affect on us. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. You may need help to break free from unforgiveness and the entanglement of sin. If so, find someone who knows Jesus, who understands the Word of God and the power he has given us in his name. They will be glad to help you get free.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Proverbs 28:13 He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.
Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all thy diseases;
Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.