The Power of Forgiveness

Bear With One AnotherBroken Stone, Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand (photo by Victor Guntin)

Theologian David Seamands once told my friend, retired pastor Jerry Kirk, that half the people in mental hospitals could leave if they learned to forgive themselves. “Yes,” Jerry replied, “and most of the rest could leave if they learned to forgive everyone else.”

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Power of Forgiveness

  1. Hey Mitch! While cruelty, hatred, dishonesty, and greed are likely indicators of being mentally disordered, we don’t yet hospitalize for these. This disorders are the ones most in need of the healing power of forgiveness paired, of course, with repenting…those we currently hospitalize have a complex set of challenges, and certainly, forgiveness can be part of cure, or coping, but it isn’t fair to single these folks out as if their pain is their own fault for not forgiving. Failing to forgive is definitely destructive, but we all do it. It isn’t a distinguishing feature of mental disorders.

    Liked by 9 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      True indeed, Rita. I suspect it was intentional hyperbole on both their parts. Seamands is well-versed in psychology. In fact, his book Healing for Damaged Emotions is considered a counseling classic, and emphasizes greatly the role of self-forgiveness in addressing emotional issues, severe clinical ones included.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Amen. Forgiveness is a broad brush that can heal many wounds. Thanks, Mitch. I enjoyed the picture and scripture as well.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I believe that mentality is a struggle, but what significantly exaggerates the pain is when we punish ourselves and others up for it. For that, I can understand where this is coming from.

    I have ADHD and I used to blame myself for being unable to do anything right. Even when I tried, no one seemed to understand what I was going through, so even with the best of intentions, they often made it worse and so life felt impossible. Life became far easier when I stopped punishing myself. It became even easier when I stopped trying to fault people for something I knew would be difficult for them to understand.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Heidi Viars says:

    And I only wonder if there would be any left if they knew they had been forgiven.
    Mark 2:9 “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I absolutely love this. So, so true. I would only add one thing: after you’ve forgiven or been forgiven, trust it and let it go.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. numrhood says:

    forgive colossians 3:13
    colossians 3:11 says
    hide the word
    thou shall not sin
    against thee

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow … I don’t doubt it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A quote on forgiveness that is true in many circumstances is, “Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.” I’m uncertain who originally said this, there are multiple citations out on the Web. People who get stuck as a victim of past abuses often hurt themselves further until they allow God’s redeeming Grace to work in themselves towards forgiveness and release – letting go. Like the portrayal in your movie Healing River.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. klongdragon says:

    Words to live by daily. I hope everyone can experience the freedom that comes with forgiving others.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ann Coleman says:

    That’s so true! Forgiveness is so important, and is such a fundamental part of our faith, and yet we struggle so much with it…..

    Liked by 2 people

  11. numrhood says:

    tag colossians 3:11
    hide the word
    forgive against thee

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Rosy Mathew says:

    Able to forgive another person is really hard. But being able to forgive yourself is even more harder. But there is no wound that time does not heal. Back in high school, I hurt someone who liked me and it’s something that haunted me ever since. It took me a long time to grow and learn from my mistakes but I have learned to forgive myself

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Great verse licture and article overall.

    Liked by 2 people

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