Forgiveness and healing

Forgiveness promotes healing, and healing supports forgiveness; they are two different sides of the same coin. Unforgiving thoughts foster fear, hatred, and, on a grand scale, war and death. But an overly simplistic approach to forgiveness, such as, “Oh, never mind. Just forgive and forget!” only soothes personal resentment and sometimes postpones permanent healing. I’m continually learning that the key to true forgiveness is understanding more about God’s unconditional love. Love cannot develop and grow when there is an absence of forgiveness.  

True forgiveness always starts with healing our own thoughts, rather than the thoughts of others, because grievances are often based upon our perception of what we think others are thinking about us or doing to us. A mild annoyance can sometimes feel the same as a huge wrong, because both build walls around our hearts.  

Whether we are thinking thoughts of forgiveness or thoughts of resentment, anger, and hatred, thoughts are powerful and can be felt by others. “Good thoughts,” Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, page 210). 

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