Forgiveness Stops Us From Becoming Negative

If we constantly allow this negative mood to fester in our lives, it may soon become a habit. This habit forms into a character trait, which then leads to a fully- grown root of bitterness.

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Forgiving our offenders blesses many areas of our lives, rewarding us in rich
dividends. When we refuse to forgive, repercussions await us in places we least
expect them. For example, the benefit of forgiveness extends to our attitude and
consequently our social life.

Forgiveness stops us from being in a bad mood

    When we are offended, we become angry, hurt, and insolent. The anger we
feel, although it may be delayed, is in essence being unforgiving, and it may lead to
a bad mood where we choose to remain for quite some time.

    Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools

(Ecclesiastes 7:9).

    Perhaps our spouse upset us in the morning before we left for work. Unless we
deal with it, the situation puts us in an angry mood. People at work become our
targets to pour out our frustration on: everyone gets on our nerves. It takes only a
little to upset us. The negative mood has made us into what ordinarily we are not.
Saul’s mood was negative because of his anger and unforgiving attitude toward
David. He was angry with David, but his bad mood extended to Jonathan, his son.
Saul lambasted Jonathan for allying with David his enemy, a false accusation.
However, it did not stop there; his anger extended to his mother, who was probably
Saul’s queen. He insulted her as well.

    Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of
the perverse rebellious [woman], do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of
Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness?

(1 Samuel 20:30)

    When Jonathan challenged his father for wanting to kill David, he replied to him
by throwing a javelin at him.
And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was  determined of his father to slay David

(1 Samuel 20:33).

    His anger had blinded him. His negative mood led him to risk the life of his own
son and heir. When anger is fuelled by continued unforgiveness, there is no telling
what could happen.

The bad mood may become permanent

If we constantly allow this negative mood to fester in our lives, it may soon
become a habit. This habit forms into a character trait, which then leads to a fully-
grown root of bitterness. It is no longer confined to an occasional mood swing; it has
practically become a daily fixture of our lives. In other words, the constant negative
mood swings have degenerated into complete and constant bitterness.
This bitterness will affect how we treat those around us. Most of the time, we
are short tempered with them because of the permanent patches of pain inside of
us. We are hurting inside. Our attitude has turned us into negative individuals,
making us impossible to live with. Sometimes, we ask ourselves “Why am I so
angry, even with innocent people?” or “Why am I so short tempered?” or even “Why
am I pessimistic about life or suspicious of people?”
The answer is simple: hurting people makes us this way. We have been
damaged; we can only give what we have.
Being unforgiving in daily living is at the root of many problems in our
relationships – at work, with our family, and even in the church. A bad mood will
affect our actions. It will affect our role as a husband or a wife when we lash out at
our spouse. We do not see eye to eye with our spouse because we are angry all the
time. This bad mood has blinded us to the point that we are unable to identify with
our spouse’s point of view. Our emotions are all mangled. The constant refusal to
forgive has led to a root of bitterness. The root is a foundation on which the tree
grows, and when we are rooted in bitterness, it will reflect in our words, our actions,
and indeed our thoughts.

    The Bible warns against nursing root of bitterness, which will affect every
branch of our lives.

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness
springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).

Forgiveness takes us out of the bad mood

    Forgiveness, on the other hand, has a way of helping us maintain a positive,
happy mood. After forgiving our spouse, we release the offense, the anger, and the
pain, and we avoid entering into a bad mood. We do not lash out at our spouse or at
people around us because we are no longer on edge; it is because we are at peace.
No wonder joy and peace are named among the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

In conclusion, when we forgive the one who hurt us yesterday, we are free to
face tomorrow without any baggage. Forgiveness shields us from negative mood
swings and worse ˗ a permanent root of bitterness. When the hurt is deep, and we
release our offender of their offense, this shows our trust in God to impart His peace
and balm to our wounded emotions.

Forgiveness Prayer

    Father God, I pray that you give me the grace to forgive quickly and avoid
becoming trapped in a bad mood. May I not allow an unforgiving spirit to change my
personality or to burden others with my pain and frustration. When I have done so, I
ask that you forgive me. Thank you Lord for helping me.

Discussion

1. How do you feel when you have not forgiven someone?
2. How does it feel when someone has not forgiven you?
3. What are some of the consequences you experience because of having a
bad mood?
4. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in this chapter?

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For the past 18 years, Dr. Tai Ikomi has been sharing her testimony of how she forgave the drunk who killed her husband and three children on an interstate highway Platte city, in Missouri. She travels all over the world sharing the grace of God on her shattered emotions over her tremendous loss and the power to forgive the drunk. Three years after her loss, she published her best seller and first book, His Beauty For My Ashes, an account of how the grace of God healed her wounded spirit and gave her a new lease in life. The book has become a classic book to help people who lose their loved ones. After years of sharing her testimony of forgiveness, she released her first book on Forgiveness in 1998, titled, The Virtue of Forgiveness. In 2009, she released another book on the same subject, titled, Effective Forgiveness. The book takes a practical at forgiveness and how to weave it into daily living with practical insights and suggestions from Scriptures. A great reading. Dr. Ikomi holds a B.A. degree in French from Universite du Benin, Lome Togo in 1976 an M.A. degree in Theology from Oral Roberts University in 1991. She also holds a doctorate degree in Theology. She has written over 30 books covering various issues of victorious Christian living. Dr. Ikomi speaks in conferences, churches, universities on Effective Forgiveness and other practical issues of the Christian life. She presents the God, who is not only about to comfort us in our affliction but who also can turn any situation around.