“Blessed are the merciful” – Q&A #8

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Question: Why should we feel mercy and sympathy for someone in trouble, if sin and error are unreal?

Answer: Sympathy is the ability to be able to really feel what someone else is feeling, just as if we were “standing in their shoes,” as the saying goes. This is a good quality to have, and we need it to respond to the needs of mankind in a humane and compassionate manner.

Mary Baker Eddy once wrote: “Oh, may the love that is talked, be felt! and so lived, that when weighed in the scale of God we be not found wanting. Love is consistent, uniform, sympathetic, self-sacrificing, unutterably kind.” (Mis. 312)

Jesus’ sympathy for others was evident, and he did not ignore the sufferings of others. But, he did not waste time in what might be called “false sympathy.” He destroyed the problem!

We, too, must watch that we do not let our sympathy for others trick us into believing in the
reality of their problems. When possible, we should generously give comfort and a helping hand to those in need. At the same time, we must not sympathize with error:

“If you venture upon the quiet surface of error and are in sympathy with error, what is there to
disturb the waters? (S&H 254)

“Sympathy with sin, sorrow, and sickness would dethrone God as Truth, for Truth has no sympathy for error.”  (No. 30)

Practice: Have you been feeling sorry for yourself lately? Do you see you must destroy the error in your thinking?

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Two: The Beatitudes”
Copyright 2002)

To print out the image below, which is from the original book, click on the image and save to your computer. To read explanation on how to use these “clip and carry” lessons, see the “About” page.

Merciful - #8

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