The benefits of forgiveness

Posted on Mar 6, 2017 | 16 Comments
The benefits of forgiveness

It sure pays to forgive others quickly and decisively.

I saw firsthand how destructive resentments are to one’s own success.

It was in a tennis match. A player lobbed a ball over his opponent’s head and the ball hit the court on the extreme edge of the line. The opponent called the ball out. It was tough to call. The player who lobbed the ball, and was 40 feet away, disagreed, and yelled, “Really!!” He slammed another ball into the ground with such force that it bounced off the ceiling, and in a rage, he stomped over to his next position. You could see resentment building in his mind.

It was all downhill for him thereafter. The next ball he received, he torpedoed at the player he was mad at with the intent of hitting him. Fortunately, the ball hit the net. He couldn’t get anything right from then on. His strokes were off, he hit the ball poorly, losing points he should have won, and within a few minutes, he lost the whole match, which had been very close until that point. He left the court fuming in his own resentments.

The negativity he indulged and its destructive effect was all so needless. If he would have instantly forgiven his opponent, let the close call go and proceeded with his tennis game, he may have won. And left the game with a good attitude. But he didn’t. He chose to suffer instead.

And the lesson was clear, there is nothing beneficial about being resentful. It does not bring anything positive into our life. It does not make us a better person. It does not help our neighbor become a better person. It does not make us healthier and happier. It is mental darkness and not to be desired or cherished.

It’s always better to love.

Love is not overlooking evil and pretending like it is not there. Love is a position of dominion and authority that empowers one to see what positive steps can be taken to improve circumstances.

In recreational tennis, as a rule, players learn to let close calls go. It happens to everyone. Not often, but on occasion, even the best of players make a call that others disagree with. But understanding players let it go and expect the same generosity to come their way if they make a questionable call. “Love is reflected in love,” as Mary Baker Eddy reminds her readers in Science and Health.

So, always choose to love. See God in control, having the final say, and causing everything to work together for good.

You may disagree with someone, or even be offended by what they do, but you don’t have to get mad at them. It’s not necessary. You can love them instead.

You can take the higher ground of spiritual mindedness and stay out of mental darkness. You can forgive them knowing that all wrongs are righted by divine Principle sooner or later.

The future of everyone is in God’s hands, not in yours. In the meantime, while righteousness works its way, forgive and love. It’s a much happier and healthier place to be.

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16 Comments

  1. Uta, Hamburg/Germany
    March 6, 2017

    Thank you very much for another extremely helpful and inspiring SpiritView of the things necessary to be healed.
    As I also once plaid tennis for about 5 years, therefore I do understand the state of affairs of the first half of your SV.
    Very muich I do love your christian scientific healing thoughts: “You can take the higher ground of spiritual mindedness and stay out of mental darkness. You can forgive them knowing that all wrongs are righted by divine Principle sooner or later.” Thats so full of God´s Love and care for His dear children. Thanks so awfully Evan for this loving SV! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Nergish
    March 6, 2017

    What a lovely post.. Forgiveness is a better place to be in, than resentment. Forgiveness empowers you whereas resentment is loss of power, goodwill, peace of mind.
    Evan what if your goodness is taken for granted?? You keep forgiving and forgiving and people keep repeating and repeating the same mistakes?? One tends to feel let down and hurt. How does one face such a situation??

    Reply
  3. Karen
    March 6, 2017

    Thank you Evan. This answers so many questions for me that I have been struggling with. I’m grateful.

    Reply
  4. Béatrice
    March 6, 2017

    This is a jewel … and a keeper. Thank you so much, Evan, for this excellent post! Little by little, I begin to get it 🙂

    Reply
  5. Jan in Rio Rancho, NM
    March 6, 2017

    Great lesson and reminder!
    Thanks, Evan!

    Reply
  6. maximo
    March 6, 2017

    The heart of Love
    Has many chambers
    Within its innermost chamber
    One can dwell and hear the
    Sound of the Still, small voice
    Within, amplified..
    Maximo

    Reply
  7. Bevi, Sandpoint
    March 6, 2017

    Thanks, Evan! Sometimes when I don’t feel I can forgive, I have to give it to God and say: “Father forgive them…..” or ask God to give me the spirit of forgiveness. And if I keep putting myself around people who don’t respect and honor me…..maybe I need to learn how to “Detach with Love” which can means I can choose who I want to spend time with, without hating or resenting them. I can Love them and Bless them and Let them go…..knowing they have a Higher Power, too, who is guiding them, if they so choose to acknowledge that Power in their lives. If they don’t……that’s not my business. But I never, ever have to subject myself to abuse from people. God gives me the courage and the strength to set “boundaries” around my body, myself, my home, my activities, my life. We have the divine right to learn how to take care of ourselves First and leave other people to God’s care.

    Reply
  8. grace
    March 6, 2017

    Maximo, please send that to the periodicals”.Within its innermost chamber One can dwell and hear the sound of the still, small voice, within, amplified”–how lovely!!!

    Evan, love this statement so much:
    “Love is a position of dominion and authority that empowers one to see what positive steps can be taken to improve circumstances.”

    Love is not a weak stance at all! It is a position of authority and dominion!
    Thank you all….

    Reply
  9. Ellen Biemer
    March 6, 2017

    Thanks for this! Very timely for me, I’ve been focusing more on this again lately. There was an excellent Sentinel article recently, “Victory over resentment,” in the Feb. 13 edition. I don’t know if you can use this link if you don’t have JSH, maybe someone else can help with that.

    https://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/2017/2/119-07/victory-over-resentment

    Especially when I’m not feeling well, it’s easy to get sucked into the negativity spiral. I’m grateful that studying CS has helped me be able to recognize when that starts happening, and put an end to it.

    Reply
    • Uta, Hamburg/Germany
      March 6, 2017

      Yes, you can get the article if you already have a paper-subscription.
      You then click on the sentinel-picture and then scroll to page 3 and 4, where one then can read the article you gave us the link to, thank you Ellen!

      Reply
  10. Bill Gearhart
    March 6, 2017

    We are always reminded that Love surfaces when we are confronted with negative actions

    Reply
  11. Evelyn Brookins
    March 6, 2017

    A friend once told me:
    “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for someone else to die!” Thanks for a good illustration – the tennis game and the joy of playing it was killed!

    Reply
  12. Kathy
    March 6, 2017

    Great one! Thank you, Evan! Beliefs of temper and resentment..such a waste of time and energy. Love that thought, too, “dominion and authority ” .

    Reply
  13. Rhonda Turvey
    March 10, 2017

    Wow! That was great. Thank you Evan. And thank you commenters.

    Reply
  14. Jeremy Blanchard
    March 23, 2017

    I too, must remember to forgive and forget. “the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts” (SH 497:11 the). Sin is not of God; therefore, it does not exist. Why sow sin or not forget it? “we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, — determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor even when it is, unless the offense be against God” (Mis. 224:17 we).

    Thank you Evan and all for your helpful replies to today’s blog.

    Reply

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