I have discussed in previous blogs, the effects of processed foods and stress on our well being. In this blog I will discuss the impact of bitterness and withholding forgiveness on our health.
Bitterness is a toxic emotion and is therefore not of God. It hurts the carrier more than it hurts the person it is directed at and can make us ill.
Let’s take a look at what scripture says about this emotion.
Acts 8:23 AMP
For I see that you are provoked by bitterness and bound by sin.
Ephesians 4:31 NIV
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Hebrews 12:15 NIV
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
These are only a small sampling of what The Bible says about bitterness. Clearly scripture shows us that there should be no place for bitterness in the life of a Christian. Bitterness cuts off our lifeline to His Grace.
Withholding forgiveness is also toxic. It involves the inability or choice to not let go of a perceived wrong/s. Like bitterness, this action often causes more harm to the one who bears this emotion. Scripture is very clear about us forgiving always. Let’s take a look at a few verses in the Bible.
Matthew 6:14-15 NLT
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 18:21-22 NLT
Then Peter came to him and asked, Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times? No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, but seventy times seven!
It is clear that our Heavenly Father does not condone us harbouring unforgiveness. It does not matter how often we think we have been wronged. We must forgive always.
Now if your stance is, I will/cannot forgive…remember that Christians around the world have just celebrated the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. When He died on the cross, He bore our sins, not His (He was without sin). He did ALL that for us, surely we too should therefore be willing to forgive. Yes we can forgive, there is nothing that the Bible tells us to do that we cannot. It is a matter of choice…if you do not forgive, it’s because you do not want to.
The impact of these negative emotions, bitterness and withholding forgiveness on our health can be far reaching.
Very very briefly people who harbour bitterness can make themselves ill, it can affect their immune health, affect various organs and lead to diseases, like high blood pressure and cancer.
With holding forgiveness, can also be detrimental to our health causing conditions such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, heart trouble, decreased immune health, cancer etc.
Is it worth holding on to these toxic emotions? I don’t think so.