Studies are now showing forgiveness is not only good theology, but good medicine also. According to the latest medical and psychological research, forgiving is good for our souls—and our bodies. People who forgive:

• Benefit from better immune functioning and lower blood pressure.

• have better mental health than people who do not forgive.

• feel better physically.

• have lower amounts of anger and fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression.

• maintain more satisfying and long-lasting relationships.

In his book, “To Forgive is Human: How to Put Your Past in the Past,” Michael McCullogh, the director for the National Institute for Healthcare Research, said, “When we allow ourselves to feel like victims or sit around dreaming up how to retaliate against people who have hurt us, these thought patterns take a toll on our minds and bodies.”

I read that John Stott quoted the administrator of the largest psychiatric hospital in London who said, “If the people here only knew what it means to be forgiven, I could dismiss half of them at once.” I also read that Billy Graham said he believes that 75 percent of patients in hospitals would be made whole if they would forgive. Forgiveness, given and received, is medicine for our souls and for our bodies. When we get back what we give to others, it’s often called “taking your own medicine.” Forgiveness is always the best medicine.

“…and forgive us our trespasses as we also forgive those who trespass against us…For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you…” Matthew 6:12-14