A calm and undisturbed mind are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones. ~ Proverbs 14:30 AMP
Then the master summoned his servant and said, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt just because you begged me to do it. Shouldn't you have had pity on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' ~ Matthew 18:32-33
The picture of the LOVE of Christ is shown to us in 1 Corinthians 13. Verse 5 reads, “Love...keeps no record of wrongs.” Recently I did a search on two words - UNFORGIVENESS ROTS - and 264 articles popped up. One Mary T. Sweat of Kansas City, Missouri, had this to say in the Journal of Christian Nursing:
“A pastor once said that when first ordained, he felt that 50% of the problems he encountered were the consequences of unforgiveness. After 10 years in ministry, he revised his estimate to between 75% and 80%. After 20 years, he concluded that 90% of all problems were rooted in unforgiveness. Is recognizing and helping patients experiencing unforgiveness an important component of spiritual care?
Scripture states that forgiveness and the lack of it play a role in our health. For example, Proverbs 14:30 and 17:22 say that a calm and undisturbed mind and heart bring life to the body, but envy, jealousy, wrath (what we feel when we harbor unforgiveness) rots the bones (literally the body).”
Why do you think that is? Why does the act of unforgiveness (and it is an unrighteous act) bear down so hard upon our bodies? Why is it such a detrimental cancer to our minds robbing us from the peace and joy we long for? First of all, unforgiveness is sin. It is not part of God’s nature in us - the New nature. Unforgiveness quenches the Spirit of God within. And that, my friends, is why we cannot hold onto His peace and joy while succumbing to an unforgiving spirit.
‘For no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly’ (Psalm 84:11).
HIS peace and joy flee from the Forgiven yet Unforgiving person. Let us look at the Truth of sin’s consequences upon our bodies. First, we need to understand that just as we are made in our Great God’s Image - which HE is Father, Son and Holy Spirit - we, too have been given three parts - body, mind (soul) and spirit!
May the God of shalom make you completely holy - may your entire spirit, soul and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. The One calling you is faithful, and He will do it. Brothers, keep praying for us. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23-25:
The Spirit of the LORD is making us completely whole and holy (sanctification). And our cooperation with Him in the area of forgiveness is the catapult that flings us through to a Spirit-filled life...a life worth living. El Shaddai is the Potter, we are His clay. Has it ever occurred to you that the only job of the clay is to conform to the pressures of the Potter’s hands in shaping it? It is that simple...and yet that strenuous as well.
Every unrighteous work done of your BODY - i.e. any sin - (in this case, unforgiveness) leads to disharmony, lack of peace OR division of your MIND which then leads to misery, despair, abhorrence, antipathy, aversion, repulsion, agony, anguish, deprecation, shame, cheerlessness, gloom, sadness, disappointment, disgust, discontentedness, dissatisfaction, and depression of your SPIRIT! It is a chain reaction.
Here are three additional reasons (other than ‘Daddy said so!’) to forgive the transgressions of others:
- Unforgiveness shows distrust in the LORD. Unforgiving Children of God do not really believe that ‘vengeance is HIS and HE will SOON repay’. These believe at their core that the LORD does, in fact, short-change His children. - READ Romans 12:14-21
- Unforgiveness divides your own heart (mind) which has direct harmful consequences on both your BODY and eventually your SPIRIT as previously mentioned! A DIVIDED MIND/HEART is at unrest, lacking peace, full of anxiety and often expresses itself in anger. Psalm 86:10-12 - For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God. Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever.
- Unforgiveness blinds your spiritual eyes. When praying the LORD’s prayer with an unforgiving heart, we are actually praying: ‘LORD, forgive me my trespasses IN THE SAME MEASURE AS I have forgiven those who have trespassed against me!’ Do you really want Him to forgive you in the same manner as you have forgiven others?
So are we off the hook if our transgressor(s) never admits to their transgression, never asks for forgiveness, or just does not care at all about our feelings? Christ, as always, is the Example. Both Jesus (having JUST been nailed to the Cross) in Luke 23:34 and Stephen (as they were stoning him) in Acts 7:59-60 cried out, ‘FORGIVE THEM!’. Jesus added, ‘for they know not what they do’. Now, unless one has been excruciatingly nailed to a cross or stoned to the point of death...one might contend.
In conclusion, the sin of unforgiveness is akin to ‘peeling scabs’. The wound can never heal if you continue peeling off the scab, the healing measure. Unforgiveness is the reopening of old wounds. Give up your ‘right’ to yourself and your fruitless need to hurt any longer! Leave the scab be - FORGIVE as The Great Debt-Reliever has forgiven you. In His time, His Spirit actively binds up and heals those old wounds. Scars will remain, but they will serve as a beautiful Reminder to you and a living Testimony to others of His healing power and faithfulness in your own life - BODY, MIND & SPIRIT!
Walk with your head held high, dear Sister, because Forgiveness (like milk) is GOOD for the Body!
If you hope to be the Victor of today, you must forsake being the Victim of yesterday.