Have you ever inquired about a variety of barriers that might keep people from talking about emotive issues such as anger; anxiety and depression with their doctors?  

Researchers found that 43% of respondents said they had at least one reason for not telling their doctors about emotive symptoms. The most common reason, cited by 23% of those surveyed, was fear that their doctor would try to prescribe them mood modifying drugs (anti-depressant and sedative drugs). 

Thirteen percent said they were worried they would be referred to a psychiatrist and 12% said they didn’t want to be considered a psychiatric patient. A further, 16% didn’t think psychological issues fell under the purview of a primary care doctor, and 15% were concerned about medical record confidentiality. 

The findings suggest that a variety of reasons contribute to patients’ hesitancy to open up about their emotional problems, and that may help explain why about a quarter of (American) primary care patients with major mood/emotive disorders go undiagnosed and more importantly unmanaged.

Of interest to me is some of the discussion and suggestions regarding anger and holding grudges. It is well documented in our Cardiology literature that over the long-term, chronic feelings of resentment can harm your physical health.  Less well-studied  but well documented individually; is the destructive effect on mental and spiritual well-being.

Some suggestions in a recent TIME magazine article to reduced the stress associated with these emotive evils are interesting: 

1. Vent to a friend about what’s bothering you 

2. Remember that you’re not the only person in the world who’s ever been wronged 

3. Consider confronting the person who injured you 

4. Realize you’re only hurting yourself by holding a grudge 

5. Try to see things from the other person’s point of view

I see the solutions differently as it is my humble experience that man (and woman) by themselves (individually) are incapable of dealing with the destructive effects of bad emotions.

In Matthew 6:9 we are told how to pray for help….

“This, then, is how you should pray:” “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, as we also have forgiven our sinners. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

6:14 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Like other negative emotions – stress, depression and bitterness has documented physical cardiological consequences: high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, increased risk of heart disease including acute heart attack and stroke. The longer you hold a grudge, the more likely your negative emotions will take a toll on your heart and your health.

“The data that negative mental states cause heart problems is without controversy with the size of the effect pretty much the same as a well documented major cardiac risk factor – smoking.”

Life is tough and occasionally seemingly unjust.  We’re all apt to feel bitter about something at some point in our lives. The trick is not to let it become an acute or chronic problem. 

So perhaps there are different solutions to these negative emotions in particular hatred and retribution against others……

Colossians 3:12

“… as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Mark 11:25

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Luke 6:37

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Psalm 130:4

“But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.”

 AND the ultimate lesson in forgiveness…..

 Luke 23:34 

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Yours in Blessing


2 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. Do I need you?

    Dear FC and CD. Thank you for expressing the thoughts of your hearts and minds, for the world to see. It has been wonderful to get to know a little of you in the flesh and in cyberspace……..but do I really need you? The congregated Church can be an intimidating and unwelcoming environment. I have occasionally visited a (widely known) church in another city, and at the end of the ‘service’ found it difficult to make eye contact, let alone verbal contact……….and thought, do they need me or do I need them (to be fair, this particular church has visitors from around the globe, so there are probably as many visitors as ‘members’ at the ‘service’)?

    Do I need God? Psalm 121: 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. I do believe I (desperately) need God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit………and God wants me! But is God ALL I need? And if so, what does that mean for me? Idols in the days of the ‘psalmist’ were positioned ‘on the mountains’ – if I lift up my eyes to the mountains (to my idols), I won’t find help, or at least not help that will be of lasting value; real help comes from the Lord, the Maker of the mountains. God is ALL I need. So I don’t need you? No I need you very much…….you are the tangible evidence that God exists, and he uses you to be my help…….but my renewed mind-set is ‘God is ALL I need’.

    The cardilogydoc notes that patients don’t easily share their emotions. This would seem to be the case with many relationships, unless the emotion is a positive one. Do we want to be idolized; sharing negative emotions might reduce our chances of becoming an idol? I do need you, but not as an idol. I think there might be a fine line between needing you because ‘ALL I need is God’, and needing you as an idol. Unquestionably sharing emotions (even if with an idol), particularly of guilt, may have physical consequences, but how much more so if ‘ALL I need is God’. I am aware that I might choose friends whom I may idolize, or who may idolize me! Last night I offered to host a ‘cross- generational’ group for dinner after ‘church’ on 16th October – I hope this may go some way to making un-idolized friends and making ‘church’ a more welcoming place.

    At church we hear about ‘mentorship’. I have not submitted to an official mentor, but can well see the benefit of such an arrangement, again providing the mentor does not become an idol. My natural mentor is my wife, in whom I can confide wholeheartedly. I love her with all my heart – but ALL I need is God. She could become an idol, and I need to beware of that.

    So we believe and it makes sense (intellectually, emotionally and spiritually), or you don’t believe and it makes no sense at all – God is ALL I need.

    Thank you royal priests – you are truly saints. May your joy be complete. AI

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