Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Having trouble sleeping? Try forgiving someone.

One-third of Americans say they lie awake at least a few nights a week. You can try meditation or medication, but according to a study published in the Journal of Psychology and Health, there’s another practice you could consider instead: forgiveness.

Researchers asked 1,423 American adults to rate themselves on how likely they were to forgive themselves for the things they did wrong and forgive others for hurting them. They also answered questions about how they had slept in the past 30 days.

The results suggest people who were more forgiving were more likely to sleep better and for longer, and, in turn, have better physical health. Forgiveness may help individuals leave the day’s regrets and offenses in the past and promote sound sleep. Otherwise, as many troubled sleepers have experienced, we might have too much on our minds to get any rest.

People who don’t forgive, researchers explain, tend to linger on unpleasant thoughts and feelings, such as anger, blame, and regret. This can involve painful rumination—repetitive thoughts about distress. That resentment or bitterness could be detracting from sleep quality and well-being, the study suggests.

Possible Preaching Angles: This study offers a new perspective on forgiveness as a key factor in achieving healthy sleep. So while it isn’t guaranteed to resolve your sleeping issues, forgiveness could be something to try out. Letting go of lingering difficult thoughts and feelings may help you not only avoid that stare-down with your clock tonight, but also feel better tomorrow.

Source: Sophie McMullen, “Having trouble sleeping? Try forgiving someone,” The Washington Post (10-21-19)

Related Sermon Illustrations

Ordinary Missionary Honored in India for Her Forgiveness

Vishal Mangalwadi, a Christian leader from India, writes movingly of the impact that Gladys Stains had on his nation. Gladys and her husband, Graham, and their sons, had devoted their ...

[Read More]

Gang Member Forgives Rival Who Paralyzed Him

Tim Keller, told the following story about a man named Hasheem Garrett, who learned the art of forgiveness. Hashim was a 15-year-old, living with his mother and hanging out on the ...

[Read More]