Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things»
(Philippians 4: 8)
If there is a topic that should occupy our minds, it is the one of virtues. This topic that has been promoted by Christianity is embraces as a subject of study in positive psychology. Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson, pioneers in the field, point out the virtues are positive traits or characteristics. They present universally valuable instruction which can be acquired, developed or improved, and imply willpower and the ability to choose. These authors identified six core virtues that are recognized in all cultures. These are wisdom and knowledge, courage humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. These virtues are manifested in more specific qualities named character strengths. Thus, the virtue of transcendence manifest itself through spirituality, hope and /or gratitude; and the virtue of temperance through prudence, humility, self control and forgiveness. Did you know that the development of these strengths is associated with higher levels of well-being and happiness? Did you know that forgiveness is associated with satisfaction in life?
Researchers of the Department of Applied Psychology at the government M.A.O. College in Lahore Pakistan) conducted a study to evaluate the importance of forgiveness in the subjective well-being and quality of life of a person. The results indicated that the majority of the participants knew the importance of forgiveness in their daily life. The practice of forgiving had caused positive effects on their personality, and it had played a large part in increasing their subjective well-being and, consequently, in improving the quality of their life. Among the beneficial effects of forgiveness is the increase of happiness and positive feelings, great relaxation levels and positive social interactions.
Day by day, greater scientific evidence proves that it is possible to increase our well-being and happiness if we allow forgiveness to be a normal part of our life. «Practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you,» says Philippians 4:9, (ESV). Nevertheless, authentic forgiveness, which comes from a transformed heart, is possible if we combine our willpower with God’s strength. Only with His help can we make a deep and long-lasting change.
Seek His companionship today to take advantage of all the opportunities to develop a righteous character, of which forgiveness is an important strength.