Today, in the Metro Express (a free newspaper given out by the Washington Post for those of us who ride the Metro subway), I came across an article, written to coincide with Yom Kippur, about the effects of wrongdoing and sin. I was surprised to find “sin” used in a newspaper article in a non-ironic or glamorized way, but more surprised by this:
Whether you’ve been wronged or done the wronging, harboring anger, guilt or resentment can lead to depression, increased blood pressure, ulcers, insomnia and a faster heart rate, says Suena Massey, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at George Washington University.
Admitting fault can be difficult. It involves a confession, sincere regret and a commitment to not repeat the offense, says Erica Brown, adult education director at the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning.
That “binding and loosening” you’re feeling is your arteries, it turns out. Look at what Christ has to say in Matthew 16:17-19, Matthew 18:18, and John 20:22-23 about the ability of the Church to “bind and loosen,” and (specifically in the third verse), the specific power to forgive sins. And despite the fact that confessing outloud to another person is, indeed, pretty tough, it’s a real first step on the road of repentence — see James 5:16. I love it when Science catches up to Religion.