Forgiveness Day, June 26, is a time designated to forgive and to be forgiven. According to eHow.com, several organizations and countries sponsor a National Forgiveness Day. The Committee for Education and Cultural Action (CECA) began their National Forgiveness Day in 1998, but changed its name from “National” to “Global.” The Forgiveness Alliance celebrates with “International Forgiveness Day,” for which the dates vary, but most occur in the summer during the months of June to October. No matter which National Forgiveness Day you celebrate, the same compassion and reconciliation are celebrated.
Forgiveness is a vitally important concept in Christianity. It, however, is not a one-time act on a one-way street, but forgiveness is a process conducted on a two-way street. Not only are believers asked to forgive others, but they also ask others to forgive them for any offenses or violations, real or perceived.
This virtue is eloquently expressed in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. . . .” Jesus Christ further mentioned this: “as you would that men should do unto you, do you even so unto them.” This concept is expressed in the universally recognized concept of “The Golden Rule.”
Paul also exhorts believers to “be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake, has forgiven you.”
Benefits of Forgiveness:
Dr. Robert Enright, founder of the International Forgiveness Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, considered the initiator of forgiveness studies, has developed a 20-Step Process Model of Forgiveness. Enright’s pioneering work, Forgiveness is a choice: A step-by-step process for resolving anger and restoring hope demonstrates how forgiveness benefits the forgiver far more than the forgiven. This groundbreaking work shows the connection between forgiveness and improved physical and mental health and better relationships. The practical, nonsectarian, self-directed guide is based on the results of the Human Development Study Group at the International Forgiveness Institute.
Recently, the research of Dr. Frederic Luskin, Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects, and others has confirmed the benefits of forgiveness in the promotion of psychological, relationship and physical health. According to learningtoforgive.com, forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, hurt, depression and stress and lead to greater feelings of optimism, hope, compassion and self confidence. Luskin, award-winning author of “Learning to Forgive,” introduces techniques that individuals can learn how “to release unwanted hurts and grudges and open themselves to happiness, peace and love.”
Angela Lowe, licensed, Christ-centered counselor and consultant, serving clients in the Central Ohio region, describes forgiveness as a “sacrificial process,” not a single one-time, one-way act. In discussing some of the benefits related to forgiveness, Lowe notes that forgiveness enhances the ability to receive and accelerate deliverance/restoration/healing from a number of physical, emotional/mental, or spiritual conditions, ranging from depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders to a variety of physical conditions connected to heart and kidney disorders, intestinal problems, various immune disorders and a list of other chronic conditions.
Forgiving.org also examines “Forgiveness Among Individuals: The Relationship Between Forgiveness and Health” in a series of research projects that study the effects of forgiveness on stress, happiness, coping with major illness, and other aspects of health.
Click here to read more about emotional healing and forgiveness. Karen O’Connor also discusses the “Healing Power of Forgiveness.” In addition, A Campaign for Forgiveness Research acts as a resource of scientific studies related to forgiveness. Everett L. Washington, Jr., Ph.D., Campaign Director, comments:
“Forgiveness is both a decision and a real change in emotional experience. That change in emotion is related to better mental and physical health.”
When it comes to “forgiving and being forgiven,” individuals should not have to wait until the 26th of June. Ideally, each day should be Forgiveness Day.
The following are usedview.com articles on the subject of forgiveness and related topics:
This article relates forgiveness to Yom Kippur: The day of atonement
National forgiveness day: To forgive and be forgiven
Check out “Forgive? What do you mean?”