Thursday, December 29, 2005

Replacing Resentment With Forgiveness

I love science. I'm not a scientist, but I love the observation of "the way things are".

And one of the "way things are" is that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14).

And one of the ways we are fearfully and wonderfully made is in how our soul (mind, emotions and will) affects our body.

And one of the ways our soul affects our body is in the devasting effects of unforgiveness.

We might assume this from the Scriptures, and rightfully so, but it is science which has actually demonstrated that the following is true:

"Resentment is like taking poison, and waiting for the other person to die."

Self-interest is not as high a motive as Spirit-filled obedience to our loving God, but it doesn't hurt to hear the words of scientists who have studied unforgiveness. They have universally found that unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, etc., cause increases in heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol (a fat-producing hormone), nervousness, adrenalin, restlessness, sadness, cardiovascular disease, relationship problems (duh..), and immune deficiency.

But forgiveness is only possible as we draw near to our Lord. As we commune with Him, as He expresses His Life through us, as we are filled with His Spirit, and as we walk by the Spirit, forgiveness is as natural as the fruit of the Spirit, which is love. Fellowship with Him. Practice His Presence. Let go of the resentment.

Oh, that Grace and forgiveness would govern our relationships. Healing balm for our souls and bodies. Isn't science something?

Listen to "Grace For Life" Radio Program.


mightyelf said...

i have to say that resentment can be a killer. i have witnessed what resentment can do to the person resenting and the one who is being resented. it all starts with a fear. and leads a person to believe they have been wronged in some way, which usually turns out to be wrong thinking. forgiveness, understanding, love, and tolerance should be practiced every minute. prayer should never be underestimated. thy will not mine, but for the grace of god go i, god grant me the serenity.. love and peace to all lisette

Terry Rayburn said...

Hi Lisette,

"But for the grace of God go I" should keep us all humble. Thanks.


Tim Archer said...

Seems to me that part of the problem is that we have trouble accepting our own forgiveness and have trouble forgiving ourselves. Until we can clear those hurdles, we can't see our way clear to grant forgiveness to others.

Grace and peace,
Tim Archer

Terry Rayburn said...


Good comment. I think there's some truth there, and even a further link in that bad chain, which is this:

When we don't really appropriate (believe and feel) the Lord's total forgiveness of us, it hinders forgiving ourselves, which, as you point out, in turn can hinder our forgiving others.

Solution: understand and bask in the love and forgiveness Christ has given us.

Revol said...

"Resentment is like taking poison, and waiting for the other person to die."

This is one of my favorite quote's, but I do not know remember who wrote it. Maybe it was in one of your other articles Terry.

I am in the process of reading all your archives Terry, and this is the very first time I have read anything that I do NOT quite agree with - "We might assume this from the Scriptures". Actualy I doubt that you really meant we assume. :)

Keep the great articals coming Terry, I love reading them.


Terry Rayburn said...

Hi Michael,

The quote is from Malachy McCourt, brother to Frank McCourt, well-known Irish schoolteacher and author of Angela's Ashes and 'Tis, who passed away recently.

"I doubt that you really meant we assume."

LOL! Yeah, if I was writing it over again I might very Britishly say...

"One might deduce from Scriptures (and I would quite agree)..." :)

Miss Marple would be proud.

Thanks, Michael.