Forgiveness Forgiveness vs. Rejection Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge. In the business community, two men can never shake hands on a deal when their fists are clenched. This is not a real hand shake, and the deal will more than likely fail. Many people will try to get along with people that have wronged them, but eventually, we must resolve the conflict by forgiveness. We must bury the hatchet without putting it in someone else’s back. There was a sign on a company bulletin board in Grand Rapids, “To err is human, to forgive is not company policy.” I think that many companies follow this rule but we must remember that it doesn’t have to be a company policy, it’s a policy of the heart. Another thing that is noticeable: It’s easier to forgive an enemy after you get even with him. Is this way of thinking wrong, or right? The word forgive means: To give up claim to requital from (an offender); to pardon; to give up resentment toward the offender. Forgiveness can only come from the heart. It is far better to forgive and forget than to hate and remember. Although forgiveness doesn’t require forgetting, forgetting may be a manifestation of true forgiveness. Nothing annoys your enemy as much as forgiving him. Claudia Lovejoy states: “Unforgiveness is like eating poison and waiting for the other person to die.” A doctor once told me that unforgiveness causes more stress than anything else, thus, is also the number one killer by heart attacks. Isn’t it ironic that it was the heart that was attacked because of unforgiveness? “In a cooperative system, it is possible that your biggest rival is someone who you will need tomorrow.” said Franz De Waal of Emory University’s Yerks Primate Center. Ask yourselves this question: “What do you gain by not forgiving someone else for their wrong?” Studies that were funded by the Templeton Forgiveness Research Campaign are trying to monitor and measure the physiological effects of forgiveness and it’s benefits. Under this study, researchers say there is a physiological reason for forgiveness-health. At Hope College in Michigan, researchers measure heart rates, sweat rates, and other responses of clients when asked to remember past things that were hard to forgive. “Their blood pressure increased, their heart rate increased, and the muscle tensions are also higher. This suggests that the stress levels are much higher when dealing with things not forgiven than forgiven.” Mitsuo Fuchida, commander of the Japanese Air Force, led the squadron of 860 planes that attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. American bomber Jacob DeShazer was eager to strike back. On the following April 18th, he flew his B-25 bomber, called the Bat Out Of Hell, on a dangerous raid over Japan. After dropping his bombs on Nagoya, DeShazer lost his way in heavy fog and ejected as his plane ran out of fuel. He was taken prisoner, tortured by the Japanese, and threatened with death. For two years, DeShazer suffered hunger, cold, and dysentery. In May of 1944 he was given a Bible by one of the guards and told he could have it for three weeks. He could hardly sleep as he read it over and over. On June 8th he gave his life to God. He knew this because he felt different towards the guards and started treating them differently. Every morning he greeted them with a smile, praying for them until they started slipping him food and supplies. After the war, DeShazer returned to Japan as a missionary. Copies of his testimony, “I was a prisoner of the Japanese,” were all over Japan. He later settled down and established a church in Nagoya, which is the city that he had bombed in the war. One man in particular was changed by DeShazer’s testimony. This man paid a visit to Jacob DeShazer at his home, and the two became very close friends and brothers. This man was Mitsuo Fuchida who had led the attack on Pearl Harbor. Because of Jacob’s forgiveness, this man changed his life and became a powerful evangelist preaching forgiveness all over the world. Tim Remington believes this: “It only takes one person to change the day, and in one day, the world can be changed.” In order to forgive, you must look at the positive side of things. The manager of an IBM project that lost $10 million before it was scrapped was called into a meeting at the corporate office. “I suppose you want a resignation?” he asked. “Resignation nothing!” replied the boss. “We’ve just spent $10 million educating you.” Did this man’s boss show forgiveness by taking the negative and turning it into a positive? And by the way, this man went ahead to make the company millions of dollars. F- Find a positive thing to dwell on so you can let go of anger. O - Organize a place and time to talk through the conflict. R - Reality check; ask yourself how important this really is to forgive. G - Get counsel on how to heal the wounds, check options. I - Ignore divisiveness and negative talk from other people. V- Validate the other persons feelings, it helps to heal the wrong. E - Evaluate if the person has truly been forgiven. If so, move on. Group: John, who is 16, comes over to spend time with your son, who is 17 years old. You already have concerns about John because he just got out of detention for stealing, and his parents are both alcoholics. After he is gone, you discover that your son is missing $50 from his bedroom drawer. When approached, John denies it at first but then admits that he took it. He asks for forgiveness from you and your son. How do you forgive him? What rules are laid down? How can this be totally healed? Break into groups of 4-5 people and write down answers.