Dr. Randy Kamen, psychologist and author of Behind the Therapy Door, says, “Forgiveness transforms anger and hurt into healing and peace. Forgiveness can help you overcome feelings of depression, anxiety, and rage, as well as personal and relational conflicts. It is about making the conscious decision to let go of a grudge.” Additionally, Harvard researcher and physician Dr. George Vaillant describes forgiveness as one of the 8 positive emotions that keep us connected with our deepest selves and with others.
Jesus gave His followers the clear message of forgiveness. As we extend forgiveness toward others, we demonstrate that we understand the forgiveness God has toward us through Christ. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we allow someone to trample over us again and again. We must learn to set wise boundaries. Forgiveness means we are releasing the right to hold something over another person and handing it over to a just and loving God.
Psalm 36 is one of my favorite passages:
Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the ocean depths.
It reminds me not only of God’s unfailing love, but also His great justice. When we turn our hurts and pain over to Him, we can trust that He will take care of it. Think of the ocean depths – there is a lot of life happening in the depths of the great deep. There is joy, peace and freedom when we release our grudges and allow God to deal with it. He sees, He knows, He is at work.