As We Forgive

In the eleventh chapter of Mark are these deeply significant words of the Master: "When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." Has some person committed a great wrong against you? Has he been unchristian? You think so, and you ask if you should complacently accept it. Should you not tell the offender his flagrant faults? We may always recognize the truth which destroys the error, and reason with the one who has to our sense given the offense. Should you criticize him to others? No! Jesus was perhaps the best critic the world ever knew, and this was because of his spiritual understanding. Mrs. Eddy was also a wonderful critic; but such criticism was always expressed for some good purpose. It separated the good from the bad, showing the good as real and the evil as nothing. In fact, no person can himself be true and right and not be a good critic. That is, he must discern the difference between right and wrong. This must, however, be done primarily and largely in one's own thinking, and not by attacking or talking about some person. Evil is not a person; it is not a thing. Although we are not to expose a person's faults to our neighbors, to our fellow churchmen, or indeed to anyone, yet, if our thoughts are filled with love we can always help to correct the faults of the world, whether it be by open counsel or by simply knowing the truth and thinking it.

Jesus taught us to pray, "Deliver us from evil." He did not say we should pray to be delivered from certain persons. It is malice, resentment, sensitiveness, or error of some kind which brings sickness and trouble. Jesus did not let sin or the devil, as it was so often called, enter his thought as real or as something. His clear perception of the unreality of the disease or the sin destroyed it, and he commanded its destruction with perfect authority over it. His destruction of sin in thought was true pardon and true forgiveness; for the sin and the disease did not exist in reality, but only in belief. When he destroyed this the patient was forgiven of his sins and he was well, for his sins were blotted out,—including the sin which brought the disease.

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Protection Proved
October 11, 1919
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