Nowhere, probably, is forbearance more necessary than in the Christian Science movement. This great movement has for its aim the salvation of mankind, and its members therefore come into touch with humanity at all stages of its development. Not only so, but the members themselves may markedly differ from one another in the degree of their understanding of God, divine Principle, and the real man, and, of necessity, in their power to demonstrate divine wisdom and harmony. Because of these discrepancies in spiritual understanding, it is positively a moral demand upon every Christian Scientist to endeavor continually to exercise loving forbearance in all his dealings with his fellow-men! No one could have seen the need of forbearance more clearly than Paul as he went about among the early Christian communities; and his words to the Ephesians are therefore as applicable to-day as when they were penned. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord," he wrote, "beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Forbearance becomes possible and natural to those who gain an understanding of God. God is Love; infinite, impartial, universal Love; and because God is infinite, the opposite of Love does not exist as reality, although mortals believe that it does. What is presented to us as Christian Scientists, in the world in general and in a less degree in our church work, is a divided allegiance to God, infinite Love or good; and it is this duality of thought which gives rise to the difficulties with which one and all of us have to contend, demanding as much forbearance as we are capable of exercising in the solution of them.

One of the strangest things to contemplate is the obvious contradictions sometimes witnessed in the lives of some of those who profess to know the truth that God is Love, infinite good. They will speak quite emphatically of God as Love, and theoretically admit that the opposite of good cannot possibly exist; and the next minute, perhaps, they will be found criticizing a neighbor in anything but a loving spirit. If questioned, they may tell you they have acted for the good of their neighbor, seemingly oblivious of the facts that it is utterly impossible for evil to produce good, and that not only does Christian Science teach love for one's neighbor in general, but also love for one's so-called enemies, in strict accordance with Christ Jesus' teachings. Mrs. Eddy writes in "No and Yes" (p. 7): "We must love our enemies, and continue to do so unto the end. By the love of God we can cancel error in our own hearts, and blot it out of others."

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Our Patient God
February 25, 1928

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