Loving Our Enemies

In the twenty-second chapter of Matthew we read that Jesus said: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." These verses, so full of good counsel, may always have meant a great deal to the reader; but just how to apply this counsel, to put it into practice with regard to one's self, may not always have seemed so clear. The world is coming to realize, as perhaps never before, the great need for the practical understanding, which in reality is the spiritual understanding, which puts these two commandments into practice. What we as individuals need, is to understand divine Love. We are told in the Bible that God is Love. Then if we are going to understand and know God, we must know and understand Him as Love; the Love that passeth all human understanding.

Too often are we prone to love those who love us, and to stop there. Now Jesus says, in the sixth chapter of Luke, "But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you." Perhaps we may think that we have a friend who has turned out to be false, a neighbor, who seems not to be our sense of a good and kind neighbor, or another Christian Scientist who to us seems not to be expressing frankness, kindliness, and love. Perhaps we may even feel that we have actually been treated unfairly and that consequently we have very good grounds for leaving that person severely alone. What are we to do in such a case? Are we to admit for an instant that such a reality exists? Can we afford to admit that a person exists apart from God? Mrs. Eddy answers this very plainly when she writes in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 8): "Who is thine enemy that thou shouldst love him? Is it a creature or a thing outside thine own creation?" And a little further on in the same article, she writes, "Even in belief you have but one (that, not in reality), and this one enemy is yourself—your erroneous belief that you have enemies; that evil is real; that aught but good exists in Science."

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Good Citizenship
March 19, 1921
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