Forgiveness Liberates

In "An Essay on Criticism" Alexander Pope writes, "To err is human, to forgive, divine." Sincere forgiveness, as an expression of the love which reflects divine Love, has a liberating, harmonizing effect on one who exercises it.

Forgiveness entertained in the face of unkindness or injustice minimizes error by exalting good in one's consciousness. This emphasis on harmony has the effect of increasing one's receptivity to spiritually imparted blessings. The freeing, beneficial results which accrue from refusing to hate when one is mistreated and from returning good for evil are evident in the experiences of Joseph related in the book of Genesis.

It is apparent that when his jealous brothers sold him into slavery Joseph did not give way to anger or to thoughts of revenge. Had he done so, he would not have been free to express the unselfish, constructive qualities which characterized his servitude in Potiphar's household. Later, as a result of his helpfulness to his fellow prisoners in jail, he was brought to the attention of Pharaoh. The wisdom of the young man so impressed the king that he elevated him to a position second only to his own.

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Building on the Basis of Perfection
November 4, 1967

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