Studies at Johns Hopkins Medicine find that forgiving those who hurt you can improve your health. Their studies show that when we fail to forgive, we can deepen our depression, elevate our blood pressure, bring on diabetes, and even increase the likelihood of a heart attack. Forgiveness can calm the stress levels and improve our health. Jesus our Lord made it clear that God desires and expects His children to practice forgiveness. Jesus told a story about a king who forgave a man a huge debt of millions of dollars when he fell at his feet and begged for leniency. But after he was forgiven, he went out and confronted a man who owed him much less. Rather than showing him mercy the forgiven man had his debtor thrown into prison. When the king learned what the ungrateful man had done, he called him in, threw the book at him—had him imprisoned and tortured until he paid his entire debt. Jesus then said, “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” So even though forgiving others may sometimes seem hard, doing so pleases God, fosters peace and harmony, and improves one’s own health and wellbeing.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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