How Christian Science Taught me to Forgive

Christian Science teaches that as divine Love reigns in our heart we will desire to help our fellow-man instead of condemning him, that we must be ever on the watch to guard against the sin of self-righteousness, to look to the beam in our own eye rather than to see the mote in our brother's. Christian Science is the Sermon on the Mount put into practice. It shows us how to love and to do good, even to those who despitefully use us; how, when misunderstood and reviled, to revile not again: how to be humble in the moment of victory. Through the practical teaching of Christian Science I have proved in part the truth of these words. When I first came to study Christian Science I was burdened with a deep sense of resentment. I bore a bitter feeling towards one who I thought had wronged me much, in return for what appeared to me repeated kindnesses on my part. I had striven to the utmost to forgive this seeming ingratitude, but in vain. I could not master the resentful feeling till I came to look upon evil in the light of the teaching of Christian Science. What above all helped to bring to me this different understanding was that beautiful chapter in "Miscellaneous Writings,"—"Love Your Enemies." If Mrs. Eddy had never written anything but this one chapter she would have been a benefactor to the human race. I read and re-read this chapter till I had it almost by heart, and by degrees my whole view of the circumstances was changed. When I came to see that as surely as either I myself, or my supposed enemy had done wrong, so surely were we the victims of a belief in sin, and that we should suffer in consequence, the whole thing seemed lifted from me; and my feeling of anger changed to pity and a longing to bring this understanding to my supposed enemy.

It came clearly to me that each of us will have to pay to the uttermost farthing for every wrong committed; then the bitter, resentful feeling left me and in its place came the sense of love that forgets self in trying to help another. Truly Christian Science turns us from a sense of hate to love. It shows us how we each and all have our weaknesses, that what one finds it hard to resist is no temptation whatever to another, therefore we must not be hasty to judge; that we must first strive to win our fellow-man by proving to him that our hearts overflow with love, and then we should pray for wisdom to tell him his fault, it this is our duty, that we may say the right word.

Another blessing which Christian Science brings to us is that we are less likely to take offence. We come to see that sensitiveness is a form of selfishness, and when we analyze the remark that has perhaps wounded our feelings, we find either that we have done something to call it forth, in which case we had best look to our own thought, or if the remark has been simply uttered through malice we have to strive to help the one who harbors such thoughts against a fellow-creature. We come to see how much worse it is to be the one who does wrong than the one who suffers wrong; that the wrong-doer is the victim; that nothing can hurt us if we be followers of that which is good. The Psalmist says, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." In Christian Science we learn that the law of God is the law of Love, and that love is the fulfilling of the law.

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March 3, 1906

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