The command (Matt. 5:48), "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," indicates not only that Jesus considered perfection attainable, but also that the individual must learn to love his enemies before he can attain it. The Master's instruction according to the Gospel of Matthew is: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto yon, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do e more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

These significant words require our earnest study and application. For as long as we hate someone who has wronged us, resent his attitude toward us, envy another's ability or his well-ordered home or business, or even feel the slightest touch of self-pity when comparing our lot with that of another, we shut out the light of spiritual reality which enables us to see the perfect man and God's impartial goodness to all His children.

One may say: "I should like to realize a higher degree of perfection through loving my fellow man, but how can I love such an unlovable character as this individual? How shall I begin?" Mary Baker Eddy gives the answer in her article "Love Your Enemies" in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 8): "Can you see an enemy, except you first formulate this enemy and then look upon the object of your own conception? What is it that harms you? Can height, or depth, or any other creature separate you from the Love that is omnipresent good, —that blesses infinitely one and all?" And she adds in the next paragraph, "Simply count your enemy to be that which defiles, defaces, and dethrones the Christ-image that you should reflect."

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July 5, 1947

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