Reflection by Scott Stoner
Yesterday we explored one answer to the question—“Why make the choice to practice forgiveness?”—is because our faith calls us to do so. Today we focus on a second reason: practicing forgiveness is good for our well-being. Jake Owensby wrote in Sunday’s reflection that in addition to his faith being a reason for forgiving his father, there was another reason, too. “I needed to unlearn the practice of resentment and replace it with the practice of forgiveness. For my own sake.”
According to the website for the Mayo Clinic, a world renowned academic medical center, the benefits of practicing forgiveness include:
• Healthier relationships
• Improved mental health
• Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
• Lower blood pressure
• Fewer symptoms of depression
• A stronger immune system
• Improved heart health
• Improved self-esteem
This is quite an extensive list that points directly to how practicing forgiveness is not just a gift we give to the person we forgive, but is also a gift we give to ourselves.
Making It Personal:How did you respond to the quote above from St. Francis? What do you think about the list of benefits of practicing forgiveness from the Mayo Clinic? Think and/or write about a time when you experienced any of these benefits after you let go of resentment and forgave someone or forgave yourself.
Follow along with us this Lent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.