Resentment Overcome

The temptation to resentment is perhaps one of the commonest and most insidious temptations we meet. It comes to us as an impulse, as do other errors. If, instead of obeying the impulse, we stopped to examine the temptation, we should see it in all its unattractiveness, — it would become no temptation. Memory of our past indulgences in resentment would remind us of the exceeding discomfort of this mental state, of its fruitlessness, of its stupidity, and of its ill effects. Analysis of its nature would convince us that it is equivalent to judging unrighteous judgment, that it tends to fix on its object that every fault we complain of in him, and therefore from which we would presumably wish to help free him. Persistent resentment is a common cause of serious illness, and a very little experience shows that a number of people who seek healing from disease, are really in need of healing from resentment.

Undoubtedly ignorance of the effect of thought, both on the thinker and the object of thought, is accountable for a great deal ; and when this ignorance is dispelled, many reform without effort, others only after a struggle. Bacon has said, "To seek to extinguish anger utterly is but a bravery of the Stoics;" and it is just such teaching as this which makes overcoming harder than it need be. Let there be no concessions to error. Christ Jesus says, "Be ye therefore perfect," and in such a command there is hope and stimulus. Here is a goal worth arriving at. Christian Science also says that the point we have reached at any given moment is of little importance compared with the direction in which we are moving. And we need these two thoughts in conjunction. Admonitions to perfection have come to be spoken of as discouraging, but they are so only when we stop to measure how far we fall short, thus centering our thoughts on ourselves instead of on the goal, or when we doubt man's perfectibility. Samuel Butler thought that no lichen had ever clung to a rock without first saying, "Now I can cling to this rock." However that may be, it is certain that if we are going to look for improvement as an answer to prayer, we must believe that we receive; and it is obviously difficult to believe that God would give anything short of perfection, whatever we may take.

Mrs. Eddy has said, "An acknowledgment of the perfection of the infinite Unseen confers a power nothing else can" (Unity of Good, p. 7). Let us remember that the person of whom we are thinking with a sense of resentment is not man, but a projection of false sense. Spiritual man is at-one with "the infinite Unseen," and in recognizing his perfection we gain a step toward that healing power which is a manifestation of the Mind that was in Christ Jesus.

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The Armor of Forgiveness
December 5, 1914

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