Offenses and Forgiveness
Our response to the hurt others have either intentionally or unintentionally caused us is very important. We have a choice: we can either forgive or we can allow the offense to become planted in our hearts, often called a root of bitterness. It is so easy to “nurse” a hurt or to “have a pity party.” After all, we did nothing to deserve that kind of treatment. But, in actuality, unforgiveness has dire consequences: a negative attitude, critical and bitter spirit, depression, physical illness.
According to Dr. Steven Standiford, Chief of Surgery at the Cancer Center of America, unforgiveness makes people physically sick. Medical books classify forgiveness as a disease. Forgiveness therapy is being used to treat disease, like cancer. “Standiford explained, “It’s important to treat emotional wounds or disorders because they really can hinder someone’s reactions to the treatments, even someone’s willingness to pursue treatment.”
“Of all cancer patients, 61 percent have forgiveness issues, and of those, more than half are severe, according to research by Dr. Michael Barry, a pastor and the author of the book, The Forgiveness Project. “Harboring these negative emotions, this anger and hatred, creates a state of chronic anxiety,” he said. “Chronic anxiety very predictably produces excess adrenaline and cortisol, which deplete the production of natural killer cells, which is your body’s foot soldier in the fight against cancer,” he explained. Barry said the first step in learning to forgive is to realize how much we have been forgiven by God. “When a person forgives from the heart – which is the gold standard we see in Matthew 18, forgiveness from the heart – we find that they are able to find a sense of peacefulness. Quite often our patients refer to that as a feeling of lightness,” Dr. Michael Barry said. He said most people don’t realize what a burden anger and hatred were until they let them go.”
Forgiveness is not a one-time quick and simple: ‘I forgive ___.’ It is something that must be walked in moment by moment until the sting of the offense is gone. I encourage you, to constantly release the hurt to the L-rd; ask Him to bless the offender. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted; and forgive each other, just as in the Messiah God has also forgiven you,” Eph 4:31-32 Complete Jewish Bible.
CHALLENGE: Daily release hurts to the L-rd. Pray blessings on others – seek the L-rd for their needs.
Fringe Benefit of not taking offense and forgiving others: we become free!
“Father, thank You for Your forgiveness. Help us to forgive others – help us to walk in Your forgiveness. Father, thank You for to understand Your death on the cross and all You did for us. Help us to be overcomers, not because of ourselves but because of You, our precious Messiah. Bring Your peace to Jerusalem to our country. In Your holy Name, we pray.”
IMMEDIATE Prayer Requests:
- Pray for Israel!
- Protection of the persecuted church.
- Pray for America.
- Deb: victory over overwhelming circumstances. Encouragement!! God will provide; prayer for wisdom and favor with all those involved in the decision-making. Protection from false accusations and that truth, victory, and peace will reign. That Deb’s spirit will be lifted up: that she will have the words and clarity of mind to accomplish what needs to be done. That there will be a miraculously successful outcome of fairness and provision for her future.
- Connie: healing – total healing!
- Jim: recovery knee replacement surgery, healing. That he will be pain-free.
- Brother-in-Law (Norman George): healing
- Shar: overcoming and sense of purpose
- Tere: healing and wisdom
- Carla: continued healing.
- Prayer for wisdom and favor as we encounter suffering people.
- REVIVAL IN AMERICA!
- REVIVAL in Arizona
- FRIENDS: many of our friends are hurting physically and emotionally.
- FAMILIES & MARRIAGES: strong, healthy and Christ-centered; spiritual, mental, and emotional healing. God will bring families together. Spirit of division will cease. Family relationships healed! Family members who are far off will return and serve God.
- PRAYER FOR OUR SOLDIERS: spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally whole!
- Protection of believers all over the world.
- Encouragement for the heavy-hearted
- Bevin (Les’a’s friend’s husband): physical and emotional healing.
- Jessica (Lori & Jim’s daughter): return to the God of her youth – the God of her parents.
Read all He is doing through prayer!
- Connie is getting stronger everyday … and able to come to Service last week.
- Norman’s brother-in-law has been moved to a regular hospital room!
- Maggie (Les’a’s sister in law): She continues to become stronger and stronger. She’s got an amazing attitude, she uses her time in dialysis as an opportunity to bring hope to others. (She is doing amazingly well!! Thank you for your prayers!!! Everyday she is getting strong!!! // 6 wks ago: She has awakened! She has phenomenally improved!!! //She is in rehab. Restoration is happening: her voice is almost back to normal, she has use of her hands, and she can walk a bit with a cane!)
- Deb got a job!!!