Getting Along with Others

IT is easy to live in peace and love with those who are severe in their judgment of themselves and charitable in their judgment of others; who are quick to see, to condemn, and to forsake their own errors, and equally quick to recognize and rejoice in the virtues of others. Those who are charitable in their judgment of others and severe in their judgment of themselves are as free from giving cause for offence as they are from taking offence, and find it easier to forgive others than to forgive themselves. On the other hand, it is very difficult, but not impossible, to love and live in peace with those who are severe in dealing with the supposed as well as the actual faults of others, and lenient in dealing with their own errors; who are as blind to the virtues of others as to their own vices; who are easily offended and slow to forgive; who are self-righteous and uncharitable.

Jesus and the apostles were familiar with both these types of character; and the New Testament abounds in commendations of the one and in admonitions to the other. Indeed, according to the New Testament standard, the person who is humble, charitable, and forgiving is a Christian while the person who is self-righteous, unmerciful, and unforgiving is a Pharisee. After we see and accept the Christ-way of humility, meekness, and charity, and seek to overcome the world's way of pride, selfishness, and condemnation, the battle against error is begun, and it must continue until we actually love God with all the capabilities of our being, and our neighbor as ourselves.

As a condition of attaining this ideal of Christianity and of Christian Science, as well as of getting along with each other, we can and should apply the Golden Rule in our mental as well as oral judgment of each other. While we would have others see our errors as error, we would have them judge righteous instead of unrighteous judgment. While we would have others, at the right time and in the right spirit, point out to us all the errors we need to overcome, we would also have them see, encourage, and love our ideal, spiritual, and real selfhood as God's image and likeness. Until we do learn to judge righteous and loving, and therefore helpful judgment, it is best not to judge at all. We must first cast the beam out of our own eyes, before we can see clearly the motes that are in our brother's, or know how to cast them out. Then, too, if we are wise and loving enough, we will not try to separate the tares from the wheat until the harvest—until the error is ripe for destruction and the wheat ready to be garnered.—lest we injure the wheat while we are trying to pluck out the tares.

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The Little Cup
September 2, 1905

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