*Note: (Click on highlighted phrases for links to articles w/additional info.)
*Scripture verses are in this color.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. – Lewis B. Smedes
People, in general, would rather die than forgive. It’s that hard. If God said in plain language, “I’m giving you a choice, forgive or die,” a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin.
Holding a grudge is like letting someone live rent-free in your head.
Unforgiveness is choosing to stay trapped in a jail cell of bitterness, serving time for someone else’s crime.
Holding on to anger is like holding on to an anchor and jumping into the sea. If you don’t let go, you’ll drown.
If I were your enemy, I’d use every opportunity to bring old wounds to mind, as well as the people, events, and circumstances that caused them. I’d try to ensure that your heart was hardened with anger and bitterness, shackled through unforgiveness. – Priscilla Shirer
Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. – Corrie Ten Boom
There is a saying that goes something like the following (and seems to be credited to several different sources):
Hate and unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
Anger can affect the heart, liver, intestines and cause stomach ulcers. Whereas laughter and joy have the opposite affect.
“…laughter actually causes physiological responses that protect the body from disease and help your vital organs repair themselves”
– Dr. Cynthia Thaik
We have all heard about what stress and anger can do to our bodies.
But joy has a different effect:
‘A merry heart does good like a medicine.’ Proverbs 17:22
What Laughing Does For Your Body Norman Cousins laughed his way back to health. In 1964 he was given a few months to live, but ended up living another 25 or 26 years! The diagnosis was of a fatal spinal illness which was not curable. He decided to leave the hospital, and he spent a month reading funny stories, funny jokes and watching funny films and he laughed til it hurt. ‘Anatomy of an Illness’ is a book that tells his story, and was later made into a movie. When he returned to the hospital after his month of hilarity, they found no trace of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Nehemiah 8:10 For the joy of the Lord is your strength —
That is, rejoicing in God, in the manner prescribed in his word, or serving him with cheerfulness and thankfulness, (which is always your duty, but now especially,) will give you that strength, both of body and mind, which you greatly need, that you may perform all the duties required of you, and oppose the designs of your enemies against you. But dejection of mind, and excessive grief, if you indulge it, will both offend God and damp your spirits, and will even weaken your very bodies, and make you unfit for God’s service, and an easy prey to your enemies.
I see people who die a few minutes after a doctor tells them there is no hope of a cure. They give up and go. Others get angry and find joy in proving the doctor wrong. Something within them is challenged and hopeful. Hope is the divine motivator. Bernie Siegel
Give someone who has faith in you a placebo and call it a hair growing pill, anti-nausea pill or whatever, and you will be amazed at how many respond to your therapy. Bernie Siegel
*CAUTION: There is a connection between our minds and our bodies. Most likely you have heard about how Type A personalities tend to have certain health problems. When we get angry or very stressed, emotions (mind) raise physical (body) cortisol levels. If you think (mind) about biting into a lemon, your mouth may begin to salivate, as your digestion process (body) begins to kick in. If you hear a scary noise in the middle of the night and think (mind) something bad is about to happen, your adrenal levels (body) may shoot up to ready you for ‘fight or flight’. With our minds, we ‘tell’ our arms to move, etc. With our mind, we can tell our body to relax, and can lower our physical heart rate.
However, this can be taken to levels that ARE NOT Biblical. Click HERE for more info regarding what NOT to do.
David Seidler, who survived bladder cancer, said he did it by using the same imagination he used to write the Oscar-winning screenplay for the movie The King’s Speech. Is this all true or just some coincidence, I don’t know. But it’s a pretty interesting article if you care to read it.
A placebo is something that has no actual medicinal value, but often has a positive affect on a person’s health simply because they believe that it will. The opposite of this is known as the ‘Nocebo Effect’. WebMD has an article about this called, ‘Is The Nocebo Effect Hurting Your Health?’
The following is from an article, titled ‘Tickling the brain can boost immunity: study’ which explains how activating the ‘feel-good’ part of the brain can help boost an immune response, and may help explain how placebos work:
“Our findings indicate that activation of areas of the brain associated with positive expectations can affect how the body copes with diseases,” said senior author Asya Rolls, an assistant professor at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Medicine.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14 NIV
A joyful heart makes a cheerful countenance, but sorrow of the heart crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13 BSB
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:36 NIV
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. Proverbs 14:30 NLT
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37 NIV
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22 NLT
A person’s spirit can endure sickness, but who can survive a broken spirit? Proverbs 18:14 CSB