FORGIVENESS & Can We Afford Not To?

by Martha Noebel, CBN, n.d.

…The definition of forgive is to … no longer blame others or are angry at those who did us wrong.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14, Matthew 6:15, NIV)

God tells us that forgiveness is not an option if we want God to forgive us. We are not perfect; we all make mistakes. We will not all agree on everything all the time. We must understand that and learn to forgive those who intentionally or unintentionally hurt us. Yes, we may have a moment of anger, but we must not become slaves to anger. We need to repent for harboring bad feelings against others so that we can be set free.

The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 16:7 that the Lord looks at the heart. What does He see when He looks at our hearts? We want to have clean hearts and hands when we stand before God. Look at what the psalmist David said:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

“Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure…” (Psalm 24: 3, 4a, The Book)

We want to stand before God and know that He is pleased with us. We don’t want to carry the sin of unforgiveness in our hearts. When we pray, we want to know that God will answer our prayers. We certainly don’t want this willful act to hinder our prayers.

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)

If we continue to have bitterness in our hearts and lives, we do not show the love of God. The Word of God tells us that we cannot even say we love God if we have hate toward someone else. (1 John 4:20)

So what must we do? Colossians 3:12 tells us to “clothe yourselves with compassion.” Philippians 2:4 says to “look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Galatians 6:2 instructs us to “carry each other’s burdens.” Ephesians 4:32 declares, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Read more at … http://www1.cbn.com/devotions/Forgive-Can-We-Afford-Not-To

SERVANT LEADERSHIP & Forgiveness takes practice because everyone has their own goals #IncMagazine

Excerpted from “7 tough lessons people often learn too late in life” by Nicolas Cole, Inc. Magazine, 9/6/16.

If possible, it’s best to learn these things sooner rather than later…

4. Your emotions take practice

When we think about practice, we often talk in terms of skill. You practice the piano, or you practice playing hockey. But the thing is, who you are emotionally also takes practice. You can practice humility, you can practice forgiveness. You can practice self-awareness and humor, just as easily as you can practice anger, resentment, drama, and conflict. Who you are, emotionally, is a reflection of the things you consciously (or unconsciously) practice. You were not “born” upset. You have merely practiced that emotion far more than you have, say, joy.

5. Everyone has his or her own agenda

This is quite a cliché phrase, and is often said in a negative context. But I am using it differently: It is worth acknowledging that, at the end of the day, we all must provide for ourselves. We all have our own dreams, goals, aspirations, families, close friends, and significant others, and we all want the same fundamental things. There are those you can trust, of course, but the best way to keep yourself rooted and at ease is to know that each and every person has his or her own agenda. You cannot control others. You cannot expect them to put you before themselves. And trying to do so may work for a period of time, but eventually, the truth will rise to the surface. Instead, make it a point to address and help others move toward their own dreams, as you request their help in moving toward yours. The relationship will more smoothly move in the right direction this way.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/nicolas-cole/7-crucial-lessons-people-learn-too-late-in-life.html

FORGIVENESS & A video introduction to Corrie ten Boom #LEAD600

Commentary by Prof. B: Students in my LEAD 600: Strategic Leadership and Management look at the life of Corrie ten Boom as an example of forgiveness in the face or heinous racial and religious persecution.  Watch this video for a powerful 4 minute introduction:

 

FORGIVENESS & TV newsman stunned by forgiveness incarnated by Coptic Christians of Egypt #TheBibleSociety

https://vimeo.com/212755977?ref=tw-share

View more at… https://vimeo.com/212755977/description via The Bible Society of Egypt, 4/15/17

FORGIVENESS & Intellectual humility and forgiveness of religious leaders

by Joshua N. Hooka*, Don E. Davisb, Daryl R. Van Tongerenc, Peter C. Hilld, Everett L. Worthington Jr.e, Jennifer E. Farrella & Phillip Diekef, The Journal of Positive Psychology: Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice,  Volume 10, Issue 6, 2015.

Abstract

This article presents two studies that examined how perceptions of intellectual humility affect response to a transgression by a religious leader. In Study 1, participants (N = 105) rated the religious leader on intellectual humility regarding different religious beliefs and values, as well as general humility and forgiveness of the leader for a transgression. Perceived intellectual humility was positively associated with forgiveness, even when controlling for perceived general humility. In Study 2, we replicated the findings from Study 1 on an independent sample (N = 299). Also, the type of offense moderated the association between perceived intellectual humility and forgiveness. For participants, who reported an offense in the area of religious beliefs, values, or convictions, the association between perceived intellectual humility and forgiveness was stronger than for participants, who reported a different type of offense. We conclude by discussing limitations and areas for future research.
DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2015.1004554

Read more at … http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2015.1004554

BITTERNESS & 9 Mental Habits That Will Make You Bitter

by Andrea Bonior Ph.D., Psychology Today Magazine, 4/8/16.

… Want to have a more hopeful and optimistic outlook on life? See if you can diminish these mental habits, and go from there:

1. Not forgiving others.

Many people equate forgiveness with forgetting that something happened altogether, or with saying that it was okay that it did. That’s not what forgiveness is about. And many people claim that they have forgiven someone for something, while in reality, they have not. What real forgiveness means is allowing yourself to be free from the resentment of having been wronged, to accept that something has occurred and to believe that you deserve to move on from it. It’s to declare your independence from perseverating on how to get revenge on another person, to stop dwelling on how to make them “make up for it” and continuing to let that corrode your emotional well-being. It is letting go in its healthiest, truest sense. Forgiveness doesn’t minimize the wrongness of someone’s actions. It just allows you to no longer be hurt by them. Forgiveness is associated with reduced depression, stress, and hostility, and improved self-esteem and even physical health. When you look at its benefits, you’ll see it’s about being kind to yourself, not doing a favor for someone else.

2. Not forgiving yourself…

3. All-or-none thinking.

It is amazing how frequently all-or-none thinking seems to underlie such a variety of unhealthy psychological states. From panic to low self-esteem, from perfectionism to hopelessness, it is not uncommon to uncover hidden and not-so-hidden patterns of this dysfunctional thinking in my clients when they are struggling with a negative worldview. What all-or-none thinking does, by its very definition, is make your outlook on life more rigid. It magnifies negativity by making it appear bigger than it really is. It keeps your mind focusing on what’s gone wrong rather than what’s gone right, and it sets you up to see the bad in people, things, and life more often than the good. See if you can catch yourself making this mistake in daily life: Are you inherently uncomfortable with shades of gray, and do you prefer things to be more black-and-white? That might be good for organizing a closet, but when it comes to how you process bad things happening, it can hurt you…

4. Holding others to a higher standard than you hold yourself…

5. Believing that things will never get better…

6. Believing you have less control over your life than you really do.

Learned helplessness, first identified by Martin Seligman, involves the belief that we don’t have control over our situations even in cases when we do, and so we convince ourselves we shouldn’t even bother to try. This mindset has been shown to be correlated with depression, and for some people it follows a period of time when they really did not have much control over their lives—perhaps while suffering from abuse or neglect, for example…

7. Believing the myth of arrival.

The myth of arrival refers to the idea that once you have “arrived” at a certain point in your life, everything will fall into place and the life you have waited for will finally begin. But sometimes this belief—that things will automatically get better once a certain thing happens—can be nearly as damaging as believing that things will never improve, because the former sets you up for a devastating letdown when things actually don’t get better…

8. Overgeneralizing.

It was one of the “cognitive errors” that Aaron Beck first identified as putting people at higher risk for depression, and it often manifests itself in believing that if you fail at one thing, you will fail at everything. The tendency to overgeneralize—to turn a molehill of a setback into a mountain—also underlies the thinking patterns of a lot of people who have pervasive negative views of the world around them. Sometimes this type of thinking can even look like paranoia: “Give anyone an inch, and they will take a mile” or “Just about everyone will take advantage of you if you let them…”

9. Not practicing gratitude

For more read … https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/friendship-20/201603/9-mental-habits-will-make-you-bitter

FORGIVENESS & 5 Steps to Experiencing The Forgiveness Boost #TheAtlanticMonthly

by Olga Khazan, The Atlantic Monthly, 1/28/15.

Read more at … http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/the-forgiveness-boost/384796/?china_variant=False&lang=en&uid=153834883