Have you ever received an email with a subject title similar to: "Warning: Virus-Do not open!" I remember when I first started using email, it seemed like I was getting one of these virus warnings about once a week. Since I was so new to the tech world, I was so afraid I would accidentally open something that would wreck our computer. When I read the email, it went on to tell about a computer virus that could potentially destroy your computer if you opened the attached.
Do you know what a virus does? A virus spreads rapidly from one person to another and some are known to be deadly. A computer virus that travels from one computer to the next has the potential to cause major destruction. Once a virus is registered on a computer, it automatically picks up certain codes that literally swifts through your files and destroys all of your personal data. Other times a virus can actually sit on your computer long before it releases itself, meanwhile, this dangerous virus has been spread to other computers causing damage to the unsuspecting.
I am not a computer wizard, but I have had to learn many aspects of the computer in order to maintain my website and blogs. Unfortunately, I have contracted computer viruses on my own computer causing severe consequences. What does a computer virus have anything to do with my subject on "unforgiveness"?
I believe that unforgiveness can be a deadly virus in our lives if we leave it untreated. Many health experts refer to it as "deadly emotions." Researchers even agree that unforgiveness is linked to a variety of health issues. There have been studies conducted to measure heart rates, sweat rates, and other responses of volunteers who were asked to remember the wrongs that they have experienced. According to Professor Charlotte Van Oyen of Hope College in Michigan where the study was done, the subject’s blood pressure and heart rates increased, and muscle tension was shown to be higher. This demonstrates that stress levels are higher when an individual is walking in unforgiveness as oppose to forgiveness. Stress leads to a host of other illnesses that lands people in hospitals. Dr. Don Colbert, M.D. says, "One of the secret causes of stress plaguing millions of people is unforgiveness."
What does it mean to forgive? In The Five Languages of Apology, by Dr. Gary Chapman (also author of The Five Love Languages) simply states to "forgive means to cover, to take away; to pardon; and to be gracious to." When we forgive, it means to lift the penalty and to pardon the offender. Forgiveness is not a feeling, but a decision. This does not mean that trust is immediately restored."
Whenever we are wronged or an offense has been committed against us we have the option to forgive that person or that wrong. The human brain is like a computer; it is a memory bank and, whether it is short term or long term, it releases biochemical stress responses when you meditate and rehearse all the offenses that have been committed towards you. I have heard it said that the individual that is living in unforgiveness is the one drinking the deadly poison, but instead wishing the other person would die.
Colossians 3:13 says, "You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others"(NLT).
We have all been hurt and devastated by someone close to us, but we have the option to not allow the hurt to get rooted in bitterness, which then causes stress and stress causes a variety of sickness and disease to harvest in our lives. This can be a viscous cycle and we are surrounded by people daily that live in this cycle of unforgiveness.
We must choose whether or not to forgive a wrong that has been done to us and it can a difficult thing to do. Some offenses may seem minor, making forgiveness easy however, true test is when it is difficult and we choose to forgive anyway. Remember Dr. Gary Chapman's definition of forgiveness: "When you are willing to cover; to take away; to pardon; to be gracious to; to lift the penalty and to pardon the offender.”
In order to prevent the dangerous viruses from infecting our computers and causing permanent damage; companies have created an Anti-virus software, an option that is now available and protects our computers from contracting these harmful viruses. Like the anti-virus software, forgiveness is the only remedy or antidote to unforgiveness for our own well-being! No matter how difficult your situation is, choose to let go. Forgive that person that hurt you, the words that were spoken over you, the abuse that you may have experienced, the husband or wife that walked out on you, the children that rebelled and didn't appreciate what you did for them. Perhaps you need help to get through this, it’s OK, get the help you need. The longer you live in this cycle, the more damage the virus will cause. Am I saying you need to interact or stay in an abusive relationship? Absolutely not!
Don't drink the deadly poison, and don't allow the deadly virus to spread through your body robbing you of health and vitality; robbing your precious life of joy that belongs to you. Forgiveness is powerful. You can do it! Choose to experience total freedom, health, and healing in your spirit, soul, and body!
@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong