Forgiveness is taught throughout the Bible. Forgiveness from a Biblical viewpoint consists of humility and bringing mankind closer. It is also considered to be important to psychological as well as physiological health. It has also been associated with lowering blood pressure, skin conductance level scores, lower heart rate and less tonic eye muscle tension (Magnumson & Enright, 2008).
Descriptions and or models describing how individuals actually went about forgiving others was the focal point of social scientific work (Magnumson & Enright, 2008). Enright’s process model and Worthington’s REACH model are the two most often cited models. There are four phases that the forgiver must move through in Enright’s model. The four phases consist of: uncovering anger, deciding to forgive, working on forgiveness, and the outcome. Strong evidence has been shown by Enright and colleagues for emotional health benefits of using a road map to learn to forgive someone who was deeply unfair to the participant. In Worthington’s model the forgiver recalls the offense in a supportive environment, builds empathy for the offender through various exercises, give an altruistic gift of forgiveness to the offender, recognizing that in the past one has hurt others, commits publically to the forgiveness one has already experienced and holds on to the forgiveness that one has achieved.
Forgiving Communities target three interdependent categories: the family, the school, and the church. Forgiveness is not only beneficial for the offender but also for the person having been offended. Forgiveness is defined as, “to forgive is not to condone, excuse, forget, or even to reconcile (Magnumson & Enright, 2008). To forgive is to offer mercy to someone who has acted unjustly. Even though forgiveness dates back to biblical times it did not attract attention from social scientists until twenty years ago. It is implied that living in a forgiving community allows everyone to be accountable for their own actions (Magnumson & Enright, 2008). The purpose of the forgiving communities is to assist parents, teachers, and pastors to deepen their understanding (Magnumson & Enright, 2008).
Enright and his colleagues have introduced psycho-educational forgiveness interventions in select primary schools (Magnumson & Enright, 2008). The results are promising but it is believed that it needs to be taught in the church in order for it to spread beyond the school systems.
This was a very intriguing article in the fact that forgiveness is not something that is often thought about. When thinking of forgiveness I have never thought about possible health associations. I remember as a child being taught that forgiving people was the right thing to do because God forgave mankind for their sins. Forgiveness is always described as a biblical element, or a Christ like characteristic. This article enlightened me and made me reflect on what forgiveness truly means and how it affects people. The way the Biblical significance of forgiving was connected to the psychological significance made it an even better read.
I am interested in this article because I enjoy finding unorthodox