Pastor’s Corner – July 2021
The famous anthropologist Margaret Mead was once asked this question: What was the earliest sign of civilization in any given culture? He expected the answer to be a clay pot or perhaps a fish hook or grinding stone. Her answer was “a healed femur.” The femur, of course, is the leg bone above the knee. Mead explained that no healed femurs are found where the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, reigns. A healed femur shows that someone cared. Someone had to do that injured person’s hunting and gathering until the leg healed. The evidence of compassion, she said, is the first sign of civilization. I would contend that it is also the first sign of the work of Christ in the life of a Christian.
On the last Sunday in June, we discussed the healing power of touch, and began sharing “God’s Peace” with one another. Wasn’t that wonderful? I received much positive feedback from so many of you. It seems you missed that as much as I did. We need to be reminded that there are many other ways to offer healing to one another. While we discussed the healing power of touch, it is also true that forgiveness is another powerful healing tool.
Research provides clear evidence that forgiveness is a powerful tool to help us recover from abuse, bereavement, trauma, addiction, abortion, divorce, and other losses. It enables us to tap into powerful spiritual resources that foster our healing.
As a pastor, I find it interesting that the Cancer Treatment Centers of America are now using forgiveness therapy as an integral part of their cancer treatment.
Studies have verified the positive power of forgiveness on our well-being. For instance, people who forgive are more likely to enjoy lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and a drop in the stress hormones circulating in their blood. Their back pain, stomach problems, and headaches may disappear. They report reduced anger, anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms; higher self-esteem; and more hopefulness about their future.
In other words, to jettison some of our emotional baggage allows our mind to provide some natural healing of our body. While forgiveness is not a cure for cancer, studies have shown that our body responds very positively and prolongs life and our quality of life.
Forgiveness is a decision we can make! We can choose to forgive—to dismiss, to cut off— the debt created by the one who hurt us. As Christians, we can do this because we say that the blood of Christ was enough payment for that debt and we do not have to extract it from them.
Is there anyone you need to forgive?
As always, I welcome your comments.