I had worked in the office only a few months. Another woman had been there over forty years. When I asked her a question about the work, she snapped at me. I went scurrying back to my desk.
My first urge was to retaliate with a note to her that would read, "Is the inside of your mouth cut up from your sharp tongue?" But I caught myself. Fighting unkindness with more of it, I knew, would never lead to a solution.
A friend told me that the women's attitude had been bitter for some time. I suddenly felt a growing compassion toward her. A passage from I Peter came to mind: "Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren , be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing." n1
n1 I Peter 3:8, 9;
In following this counsel, I turned to God, divine Love, to guide me. My self-pity and hurt feelings began to dissolve.
Christ Jesus' pure consciousness of love outweighed all evil. As a student of Christian Science, I knew I had to follow Jesus' example. I had to love enough to detach any unpleasant trait of character from my concept of this fellow worker.
My resentment also began dropping away, and I realized that sins are never aspects of the real man God created. True consciousness, divine Mind, expresses love, wisdom, purity, in man. When our thoughts are filled with these qualities , we begin to take on our real selfhood as Mind's idea. We are freed from harmful influences. God alone motivates man from the depths of His love.
I refused ot acknowledge the devilish, sharp-tongued habit to be a part of anyone, including myself. Next day the complete answer came clearly, in something Mary Baker Eddh n2 writes: "I will love, if another hates. I will gain a balance on the side of good, my tru being." n3 Yes, I could love, even in the face of apparent hatred. I could love the real man, but not the false trait.
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n3 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 104.
I wasn't surprised the following day when the woman greeted me warmly and presented me with some plant cuttings from her home. From then on she took an interest in my welfare and never again made sharp remarks to me. And I, in turn , felt a genuine warmth toward her.
When we keep our actions and thoughts consistently in line with the demands of God, we can always face a difficult situation as its master. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease. Proverbs 22:10