Christian Science gives us a higher thought in regard to a multitude of things. The unfolding which comes along many lines brings a new light on the subject of forgiveness. We have been accustomed to pray, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," and the question comes up as to whether we were entirely sincere in this prayer, before we understood the true meaning of forgiveness. Did we really want God to forgive us in the way we forgive others? How this passage is illumined when its spiritual interpretation comes to us—"Love is reflected in love" (Science and Health, p. 17)! Can we forgive without reflecting love? No! Forgiveness is then a work of love, and nothing short of this deserves the name. Mrs. Eddy writes, "The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love" (Ibid., p. 201).

A perfect example of forgiveness is presented in Jesus who even on the cross prayed for those who were crucifying him, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." He indeed manifested true forgiveness in reflecting love alone. One of the most helpful and necessary footsteps to be taken in bringing the blessings of a forgiving spirit into our lives is the recognition of the true child of God and of the false basis of the error. Let us take this thought of forgiveness, make it practical, and see how often the seeming hatred, jealousy, or whatever the wrong thought may be, will disappear. We shall come to the point where our thought goes out in love and pity toward those who would harm us, knowing that we are safe and that a wrong thought only hurts the one who harbors it. Gradually we learn that others cannot harm us unless they make us think wrong, and we fail to let Truth and Love control our thought.

Another beautiful example of forgiveness is presented to us in the account of Stephen, when he was stoned for his faith in Christ's teachings. This prayer was similar to that of our Master on the cross,—"Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." History repeated itself when, in the midst of unjust criticism and cruel misrepresentation, in an article entitled "Harvest," which appeared in the Independent (Nov. 22, 1906), our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, wrote, "Those words of our dear, departing Saviour, breathing love for his enemies, fill my heart: 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.'"

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

August 21, 1909

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.