Forgiveness is a Beautiful Thing – and Leads to Health

Forgiveness is a Beautiful Thing – and Leads to Health

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A guest post written by Ame Schneider from Los Angeles, California

I’ve been praying a lot lately about the idea of forgiveness. It is so easy to take offense, to hold a grudge, and to obsess over how you were right, and the other person was wrong. I have found that when I am consumed with negative ideas, that my body will express that in some form of illness. Sometimes it can be difficult to snap out of those feelings of resentment, especially when you aren’t feeling well. How do we let go of the hurt of feeling wronged, misunderstood, taken advantage of – and find both physical and mental freedom?

I have found it helpful to stop and pray. To get still, let go of a human sense of right or wrong, and trust in a divine sense of only good. One of my favorite articles on this issue is by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. It is called simply “Taking Offense.” When I first read this line, “It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another’s self-assertion,” I realized that I had to put myself in check when I was angry about something, and be conscious of how I was reacting – choosing instead to respond with Love. Applying this concept of forgiveness, for the other as well as for myself, I am always wonderfully and pleasantly surprised by how good I start to feel!

The article continues by saying, “We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms.” What a beautiful way to think about the person you are having a conflict with, and choose to have patience and compassion and the desire to find a solution to the challenge that is presented. I know from experience you will start to have a “whole-souled” spiritual sense of health and happiness. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing!

About the author

Guest We are pleased to present Notes from the Field authors, who are assistant committees and church members in the Southern California region; and Notes from The Mother Church authors, who are Committees from the United States and around the world, as well as the Federal Committee on Publication office.

Comments

  1. Dan Miller says

    Thanks. Great post. I too have learned a great deal from the article “Taking Offense” it has so many great common sense solutions we can all apply and the line you quoted…”It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another’s assertion,” should make us all look in the mirror with an open mind. It reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Science and Health by Mary Bake Eddy….”let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error, –self-will, self-justification, and self-love, –which wars against spirituality….” Thanks again!

  2. Anne Hughes says

    Thanks, Ame. I am doing Desmond Tutu’s forgiveness challenge this month. I decided to do it because it has been easy to simply mentally skate away from thoughts about past disappointments and slights, instead of facing them and dealing with them. Happily, I am finding that to face a hurt and look at it from today’s standpoint, I am seeing the other person’s side of the issue better and am also finding that, guess what ? The world didn’t end, and it is time to let go of the issue and love the person the best I can for the good that they are doing or have done. Holding a grudge is a waste of time and thought that could be joyful and productive. Hurray for forgiveness!

  3. Molly Byers says

    Ame, what a precious post. Loved it. Reminds me of Jesus’ disciple asking if 7 times was
    enough to forgive, thinking that was pretty many times. Jesus’ reply was no , until 70 x 7.
    I’m thinking he didn’t really mean to forgive our fellow man 490 times, but rather forgive, and forgive and forgive as many times as forgiveness is needed. Why did he council us this
    way? One explanation might be, that Jesus knew forgiveness was a quality of God. God
    always forgives us. Therefore, when we continually forgive, make it our way of life, we
    become a living example of God’s quality of forgiveness, right here on earth, today. I love that!!!!! Thanks for the reminder. Molly

  4. Susan says

    Another big thank you, Ame. Like Anne, I am taking Desmond Tutu’s “Forgiveness Challenge” during the month of May (check online for his book on forgiveness and the challenge) to recognize that forgiveness is essential to healing and wellness. As Molly mentioned, there is no limit to forgiveness, since it is a quality of God that each of us expresses. Mary Baker Eddy says it best in “Taking Offense” that “nothing short of our own errors should offend us.” Truly, ” Love is reflected in love.”