When things feel hopeless ... try mercy

Ways to prove that the merciful really are blessed

THERE WAS A TIME when I was bitter and cynical—disappointed about unfulfilled hopes. As a child I had no tools for expressing my frustration about the repressive atmosphere in my home. I derived comfort from the regularity of activities like homework and succeeded academically. For a while practicing the piano also provided comfort. But the time came when I couldn't figure out how to practice on my own and also didn't have the emotional strength to concentrate on the demands of the music. So I completely stopped practicing between lessons. Even though I'd been identified as musically gifted, I quickly fell behind my musical peers. As an adult, I was bogged down by disappointment. Still, I sensed that there was a better way to think and to live.

I searched. One Sunday morning it came to me to go church. The words of the Bible and Science and Health—the sermon—lifted me out of my seat! I learned that a Weekly Bible Lesson was available, and I began to study it earnestly. As I studied it, I was able to concentrate better, and the quality of my thought improved. I learned to rethink the present and the past, and to be more forgiving.

This progress started with finding out the simple but grand fact that God is perfect and good, and that I was God's reflection. Believing and acting on this truth, my self-esteem grew, and I became more alert. I started to feel God's mercy. It occurred to me that being able to forgive people was a great privilege for me. Also, instead of feeling guilt and shame about my mistakes, I wanted to learn how to correct both the mistakes and what caused them. And, overwhelmed with gratitude for God's forgiveness, I was naturally filled with the desire to forgive others, as well as myself.

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Why people don't give up
March 19, 2001

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