Forgiveness is a huge part of life today, not just for Christians, but for many others as well. For Christians though, forgiveness has a purpose and a meaning. When Jesus died on the cross, he died in order to forgive humanity of its sins. God sacrificed his own son, in order to be able to forgive us. He set an example for the future generations, to forgive. He always forgave, and Christianity follows his teachings in which he stressed that people that they had to be ready and willing to forgive to be forgiven themselves. People do not take their lives in order to forgive or be forgiven, but they practice the act of forgiveness on a daily basis. They forgive people in daily life, may it be at work with clients and work colleagues or at home with children. Without forgiveness think of the chaos, the world would be in. Everyone would be holding grudges and hating people that even just once may have annoyed them or done something that ordinarily would need forgiving.
People such priests do devote their lives to the church, they sacrifice certain things such as marriage and intercourse in order to recognize and teach the ways of a Christian which, as Jesus taught, involves forgiving. The Roman Catholics use things like confessions to be forgiven. A person seeking forgiveness tells a priest privately that which they have done wrong and he or she is forgiven. Christian priests, as you may have heard such a term before at a wedding, “by the power invested in me”, have in some ways power invested in them by God, not only to pronounce two people as married but to be able to forgive people of their sins. People ask them for forgiveness and God through the Priest forgives them.
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Many go to baptisms in their Christian lives, another example of the practice of forgiving. Children are born with original sin and are baptized when young for this original sin to be forgiven by God. People are often baptized again when old enough to decide that they wish to be. A believer’s baptism. People are forgiven of sins that they may have committed during their life. No matter what, God always forgives them. Before Christians are able to enter heaven, they must be forgiven. Jesus’ life was a perfect one. He committed no sin, yet suffered for ours. When we die, we nearly always die with sin, simply not following nine out of the Ten Commandments, means that you have sinned. If I am honest, I have followed only two or three of the Ten Commandments, so I have sinned really quite a lot.
Yet, hopefully, as Christians believe, when I die, the death of Christ will mean that I will be forgiven by God, and not suffer for my sin, but live in heaven happily. I hope. Whatever happens to me this is what Christians believe and it is this belief that makes people today forgive. From a scientific perspective, researchers such as Dr. Glen Mack Harnden, are trying to determine the ways in which the spiritual act of forgiveness can promote personal, inter-relational, and social well-being. Harnden is enthusiastic about the personal benefits of forgiveness. It not only heightens the potential for reconciliation (as suggestions of Forgiveness in Marriage, Healing, Forgiveness in all parts of life today), but also releases the offender from prolonged anger, rage, and stress that can be linked to physiological problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, hypertension, cancer, and other psychosomatic illness.”
In 1990, a young mother of three pleaded for her life. The murderer cold-heartedly fired anyway, killing the woman. Sydna Masse was a neighbour of the murdered woman. When she heard about the killing, she responded with hate and rage. Eventually, she turned to the bible, reading Jesus’ teachings about forgiveness, such as the prodigal son and the unmerciful servant. In spite of her reluctance, Sydna finally acquiesced and wrote a carefully worded letter to Jennifer (the murderer), expressing her forgiveness. She was caught by surprise by what happened inside her. As soon as Sydna dropped the letter into the mail, “a weight lifted. I felt like I was losing 20 pounds. That’s when I learned that anger, bitterness, and not forgiving keeps you from experiencing the depths of joy.” This is just one example of a Christian woman who followed the teachings of Christ, and forgave someone for a terrible act, and felt so much better for it. Christ suffered for us, in order for God to forgive us so that we can not suffer in hell. We forgive others, following the example of Jesus and ultimately God.