Summary of the article
Studies indicate that forgiveness intercessions decrease depression, anxiety and anger. It however escalates hope, positive affect and self-esteem. Holistic psycho-education proposes the forgiving Communities as the best strategy to enforce the spirit of forgiveness and understanding. It targets the church, family and the school. These facets are closely related and the success of one largely depends on the success of the other(s). The church is intended to enhance and propagate the spirit of forgiveness. Despite being of different levels, forgiveness is part of the congregation’s expectation in any church. The forgiveness culture should be cultivated in an individual during infancy and the same spirit upheld through adulthood.
The concept of interpersonal forgiveness first found its shape in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. There are many instances in the bible where the aspect of forgiveness clearly appears. For instance, in Luke 15:11-32 in the parable of the prodigal son, the father willingly forgives his son despite the fact that the son had done a great mistake of going against the father’s will. The bible urges Christians to forgive one another since they were themselves forgiven by God through Christ. The essence of forgiveness is, “the cessation of resentment and the implementation or the resumption of a beneficent response toward an offender” (Chad & Robert, 2008). Forgiveness has been and is still part of the church’s mission and message. After receiving forgiveness, one will find meaning in an offense and perceive life differently. They will change the purpose and discernment of life altogether.
As far as forgiveness is concerned, the pastor has a great role to play both as a teacher and a representative of God. This makes them main targets forgiveness education program. However, the success of the program requires that it is wholeheartedly endorsed by pastors, all participants of the church and the society in general.
Reflection of the article
The article ascertains that one will encounter injustices of one sort or another due to the interpersonal relationships that are prevalent in the contemporary community, but must be ready to forgive as this is what God wants us to do in order to live a good friendly life where social interactions and cooperation are at the high point. However, it fails to give a clear definition of what real fogginess entails and the kind of injustices that one must be ready to forgive or not.
I actually concur with the article that there has been a rapid rise of Para church organizations and Publishing agencies which has created some sort of consumerist mentality on the part of church leaders. It has complicated the kind of curricula that the churches should use to effectively propagate the message of forgiveness and most have resulted to overconcentration on programs that are really not very beneficial to the congregation and do little to spread or entrench the message or idea of forgiveness. The best strategy would be incorporating the forgiveness education program into the church calendar each year to ensure that leaders as well as all participants of of the church take part in the program.
The article states that churches should arrange for special occasions where all church members will meet and ask for forgiveness from one another. I find it rather ambiguous as this will encourage people to do injustice acts knowing that they will just seek for forgiveness and will be forgiven. This will deviate from the main intension of forgiveness.
However, it appears that forgiveness is an important aspect that is quite necessary for peaceful; coexistence and cooperation in the contemporary society. A church is as healthy as its members. All individuals should sturdily unite and propagate the message of forgiveness.
Application of the information
I would use the information acquired to change the feeling of an individual about life and the entire aspect of forgiveness. I would thoroughly take the individual through a thorough analysis of the bible. By explaining the various ways in which God manifests the importance of forgiveness I will be able to make the individual change their perception of forgiveness. I will use the various examples of forgiveness in the bible to support my message.
Alternatively, I will apply other important philosophical reasoning to further reveal to the individual the importance of forgiveness. I will as well make the individual come to term with realities and silently think about their lives. This will make them to further investigate the various injustices that they have done or have been done to them and make them think how guilty or hurt they would have been if there was no forgiveness.
I will encourage them to forgive anyone that they had previously wronged and fight the feeling of guilt out of them. I will further provoke them to proliferate the spirit of forgiveness among their peers or children as well as adults. I will further use the New Testament to illustrate the importance of forgiveness in the moral realm of human relationships. Through the preaching, teaching and I will effectively use this opportunity to explicitly promote forgiveness.
Chad, M. and Robert, D. (2008). The Church As Forgiving Community: An Initial Model. Journal of Psychology and Theology 2008, Vol. 36, No. 2, 114-123.