The Power of Forgiveness
by Mary Beth Singleterry
I heard a true story recently about a Christian woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal disease. Her doctors sent her home from the hospital, not giving her much longer to live. This woman turned to her Bible and opened to Mark 11:24, 25: “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
In deep prayer, she asked God to help her forgive anyone who had ever wronged her, and to heal her of any resentment she might be carrying in her heart. She then asked God to forgive her for anyone she might have harmed. She also wrote letters to these people, saying how sorry she was for ever having caused any unhappiness in their lives, and humbly asking for their forgiveness. Upon doing this, she felt a deep peace come over her. Joy filled every fiber of her being. In the days to follow, she woke up every morning thanking God for His goodness and praising Him for giving her life and health and all good things. In a matter of time, she was completely healed, much to her doctor’s utter amazement!
Forgiveness is a quality of God and carries with it a mighty strength and power. If we have worked hard and long on a healing that seems to be delayed, it may be well to ask ourselves, “Am I harboring an unforgiving spirit?” Jesus says, in order to pray aright, we must come to the Father on our knees and forgive as He has forgiven us.
When it seems hard to forgive someone, remember that God will take care of any injustices that have occurred in our lives. Vengeance is never acceptable. Our part is to forgive and trust the Father to take care of the rest.
We have been taught a simple lesson here, which is to “keep your slate clean.” Every evening before retiring, check your thinking. Ask yourself, “Did someone upset me today or make me angry, that I have not forgiven?” If the answer is yes, get rid of it, let it go. It is not worth all the trouble it brings! As we daily keep our “slate clean,” God’s dear love can shine through us without obstruction — sparkling, bright, and clear.
In Ephesians we read, “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” These simple truths from the Bible keep us free and happy, and also healthy. Why? Because we are being obedient to a God who loves us and who has only good for us, and for all mankind!