ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Forgive Is Part of Christian Living - Forgiveness Sets You Free

Updated on April 6, 2016

Everyone Needs Forgiveness

Everyone needs forgiveness at one time or another. We need this forgiveness because we are not perfect and we offend others, ourselves and God. These offense can be quite small and hardly worth mentioning to a rather "large offense".

The misconception of forgiveness is that forgiveness includes forgetting. That is not the case.

Forgiveness is not avoidance. When there is serious hurting, the relationship is cracking apart. The hurt needs to be dealt with to repair the relationship.

Forgiveness is not excusing the action. People, and we are included in this, hurt one another for whatever reason. We must take responsibility for our actions. We must also expect others to take responsibility for their actions.

Forgiveness is not reconciliation -.It doesn't mean one has to become best friends with the one forgiven. People posses evil and they may be muck stirrers. There are certain kinds of people to keep out of your life. Get rid of the negative, the gossips, the troublemakers.

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. Proverbs 22:24-25

Forgiveness is defined as canceling a debt also as giving up resentment. Forgiveness is to let go and to cancel the debt. To forgive we must let go of the anger, the resentment, the revenge and to cancel whatever they owe. It doesn't mean to forgo justice.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

The Positive Side Effects Of Forgiveness

The side effects of forgiveness are positive. First when one forgives they are released from the past. "To forgive is set a prisoner free and discover that prisoner was you." Lewis B Smedes

Forgiveness is holding onto the past and harboring bitterness, revenge and entitlement. These are all negative emotions that tie one to the past. And the part of the past that is not positive. Unforgivness is brooding over split milk. It causes stress in the body.

There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed, 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 levels, leading to improved health." says Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Chronic

Other studies confirm or go further and include

  • Greater spiritual well-being
  • Better psychological well-being
  • Fewer depression symptoms
  • Reduced anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Stronger immune system
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Improved heart health
  • Greater satisfaction with life
  • Less nervousness and sadness
  • Better family, romantic and professional relationships

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health. Proverbs 15:30

It is great that science confirms the Bible once again. These Proverbs are saying that we should be concentrating on the good. Put those things that trouble us behind and look forward to a bright future.

Why We Need To Forgive

More important than the health benefits listed above is the fact, we are forgiven. Jesus Christ paid for all of sins when he died for us on the cross. God no longer counts our sins against us. All we have to do is believe and confess that Jesus is the Christ and He is risen.

Even the faith to believe is a gift from God. Forgiveness is a part of the grace of God - the unmerited favor God gives each of us.

Christians should reflect the love of God to others and to ourselves.

We are commanded to forgive.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 NIV

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22 ESV

We are commanded to forgive not just once and not just when we are in the mood. Forgiving is a choice not a feeling. If it was a feeling, how could we forgive on command?

When the anger rises up, when the bitterness starts to take over, when revenge starts to seep into the thought process it is time to choose to forgive. Say those magical words, I forgive _____________ for ____________. Fill in the blanks with the name and the offense.

Forgive Yourself

Listen t the conversation in your head. If we are honest with ourselves, we would say that we are our worst critic. There is much negative self-talk going on in our heads.

Let's forgive ourselves for doing the wrong thing. Let's forgive ourselves for saying the wrong thing. Let's forgive ourselves for wrong thoughts and failures.

Forgiving is done out of love. There can not be hate and forgiveness existing in the same mind.

For no one has ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, as the Messiah does the church. Ephesians 5:29

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.‘ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

When we love ourselves we don't condemn ourselves. Love is about encouragement and correction, about wanting what is in the best interest of the person, and it is about sacrifice.

Sacrifice the right to condemn oneself, deny the thoughts of inferiority, sacrifice the name calling.

Practice this and notice how it feels. Just say "I forgive myself" and say it again and again.

Just Forgive

Forgiving others and ourselves will produce benefits more than a person can imagine. There will be numerous health and psychological benefits as well as relationship and spiritual benefits.

The reduction in stress , being freed from the past, being able to look to a bright future and a growing relationship with God are worth choosing and learning how to forgive.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • VictoryMinded profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Massafra 

      2 years ago from Pennsylvania USA

      Yes it is a difficult choice we have to make repeatedly until the anger and bitterness subside.

      Thank you for the comments

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Yes...I agree with you. Forgiveness is a choice. But can be such a hard one to make.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Wise counsel on forgiveness. "Forgiving is a choice not a feeling." That's why we need to be properly educated about it. Thanks for the lesson.

    • VictoryMinded profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Massafra 

      2 years ago from Pennsylvania USA

      It is a large subject. Maybe I will do a part 2 on how to forgive and really know that you have forgiven.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      This is a huge topic!

      It is sooo hard to do when much hurt has been felt.

      Yes, I agree with you. The best thing you can do when you can, is turn your life around.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)