SOMETIMES resenting a wrong can seem more natural than forgiving it. But resentment is not natural to man. It's not natural to our true selfhood, created in God's likeness.
Loving is natural for man, the offspring of divine Love. And loving will feel more natural to us as we strive to express Love more consistently. By silencing the temptation to mentally relive injustices and also by resisting all opportunities to dramatize them before a captive audience, we make room for the spiritual quality of love to grow in us.
Spiritual love is impartial. It does not shine and shun. It just shines, reflecting divine Love. This shining is inherent in us. As we spiritually awaken to discover this quality in ourselves, we begin to see it in others, for spiritual love has a powerful healing effect.
I found this out when for several days I was too ill to get out of bed. I called a Christian Science practitioner to help me through prayer. And during the course of calls for more help over the next few days, I told her of a situation that was distressing me greatly.
A family member had apparently taken advantage in business dealings with another family member who cried on my shoulder. At first I made excuses for the offender. But soon I began to sympathize with the victim and to resent what had been done. In fact, I became so upset that I felt the whole thing should be taken to court. And I felt as depleted physically as my pathetic relative said she was financially.
After I poured out all this, the practitioner came to visit me.I felt such genuine love in her uncritical, uncondemning reassurance that God loves us all. After she left, I woke up to realize that it was not fever but resentment I was burning up with. As for the terrible aching, it was revenge I was aching for! But I knew, too, that I didn't need to accept and deplore that sad story of victimization any more than the practitioner had. I could look, through the teachings of Christian Science, to the truth of God and His unafflicted creation , where justice and harmony reign uncontested. And I could expect healing.
Within minutes I was out of bed, my normal cheerful outlook restored. Within hours I was back on my regular work schedule. Before long, my relatives evidently reached an agreement. Anyway I stopped hearing complaints.
Of course, not every illness is brought on by resentment! Whatever the difficulty, it can be healed through prayer. And if resentment has been harbored, it can be released, even if our feelings have seemed justified by countless offenses. The disciple Peter asked Christ Jesus, ''Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?'' Jesus replied, ''I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.'' 1
n1 Matthew 18:21,22.
When an injustice was done to Jesus, Peter must have had quite a struggle. We read that he wanted to physically defend the Master from arrest. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy comments, ''Peter would have smitten the enemies of his Master, but Jesus forbade him, thus rebuking resentment or animal courage. He said: 'Put up thy sword.' '' 2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 48.
The rebuke to Peter applies to anyone who would deal with injustice as though by avenging it he could do away with it.When we say, ''I resent that,'' we're really saying ''I believe that''-believe in injustice. But we can choose to believe in justice. God is just, the Scriptures say. Do we really believe in a power apart from God, when the Scriptures also tell us that He is omnipotent?
Divine power moves in the interests of love and unity. Mrs. Eddy writes: ''We have no enemies. Whatever envy, hatred, revenge-the most remorseless motives that govern mortal mind-whatever these try to do, shall 'work together for good to them that love God.' '' 3
n3 Micellaneous Writings, p. 10.
Sooner or later we learn that there is nothing opposing or obstructing the harmony of God and man. Therefore, there's no cause for resentment. But there is cause for love. And that cause is God. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Be ye therefore merciful, as your father also is merciful. Luke 6:36