Forgiveness restores right relationships between individuals. In addition, forgiveness has health benefits for the person who forgives. This is shown in a book on The Power of Forgiveness by Kenneth Briggs (Fortress Press, 2008). He notes, “The most solid result is that forgiving yourself and others can be a bonanza for your heart and your blood vessels. Blood pressure goes down, therefore easing the workload on the cardio-pumper” ( p. 42).
Kathleen Lawler-Row, a professor of psychology, confirmed this finding in her studies. She reports: “The more forgiving people have lower blood pressure. They are less aroused during stress. They recover from thinking about this [betrayal] experience more quickly. When we look at survey samples and a variety of measures of health and fatigue, sleep, physical symptoms, number of medications, in every case the more forgiving the person the better the health” (Briggs, p. 46).
When we forgive, we are healed at the same time that we are a healer. Such is the benefit of living in God’s kingdom in this manner.