Forgiving others

In a familiar story, a man was wearing a heavy coat on a warm day. When his friend asked him why, he replied, "Because it feels so good when I take it off."

Are we waiting around in discomfort before we forgive someone a wrong? God invites us this very hour to drop the burden. Most of us have enough to do in life without also carrying around the heavy mantle of bad feelings, grudges, or lust for revenge. These are forms of self-punishment that can be let go as deceptions, even though we think they are justified.

What a flood of love would sweep across the world if individuals -- and nations -- could learn to truly forgive with the kind of power exercised by Christ Jesus.

Men, women, and children can begin to recognize more clearly that justice is in the hands of God. They can learn that God is divine Love. His impartial law of good for all adjusts every wrong when we understand this Love. Human justice , while admirable when it expresses strong degrees of fairness, simply is not adequate to loose the hurt and ignorance that constrict the world. On the other hand, divine Love, by its own infinite nature, can tolerate no injustice or harm. To Love, unfairness is nonexistent.

When individuals accept this fact, they begin to deprive evil of its seeming power. They themselves are transformed, for they see that injustice is not only intolerable but unnatural to everyone's real identity. They then yield up self-righteousness and self-justification and enter the realm of God's justice.

When Jesus forgave those who put him on the cross, he was appealing to the justice of infinite Love. n1 He had harmed no one. In fact, in his short public career, Jesus had healed multitudes of sickness and cleansed many of sins. If in his own thought he had granted power to the jealousy, envy, and revenge that motivated the crucifixion, Jesus could not have raised himself from the dead. His Christly nature, reflected from his Father-Mother God, revealed the nature of God to mankind. Our own forgiving, even though on a smaller scale, will in turn help lead others to an understanding of God.

n1 See Luke 23:34

Doesn't Jesus' example show us clearly that our hesitation to forgive others is a limitation we place on ourselves? He taught us to pray to God, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." n2 Divine Love provides the grace to forgive wrongs done to us. This grace enables us to know our own Christly nature. We can express compassion to all.

n2 Matthew 6:12

Mary Baker Eddy once wrote something to members of her Church that bears repeating to everyone: "MY BELOVED BRETHREN: -- If a member of the church is inclined to be uncharitable, or to condemn his brother without cause, let him put his finger to his lips, and forgive others as he would bem forgiven. One's first lesson is to learn one's self; having done this, one will naturally, through grace from God, forgive his brother and love his enemies. To avenge an imaginary or an actual wrong, is suicidal." n3

n3 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 129.

No thrust of egotism or hatred need disturb our harmony. Divine Love doesm embrace all mankind. Spiritual power dissipates the heat of pride and stolidity. Just as dawn opens fair skies to bird, beast, and all, God is right now unfolding the light of forgiveness throughout the universe. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Luke 6:37

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