“Blessed are the merciful” – Q&A #9

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Question: If sin must be destroyed, why cannot we “destroy,” or punish, the people who may have sinned against us?

Answer: Trying to hurt someone because they have harmed you in some way is called revenge. Revenge is wrong. The sin that needs destroying is only the belief of it in our own thinking. We leave the punishment of others to God. Mrs. Eddy tells us plainly:  “Revenge is inadmissible.”
(S&H 22)

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes:

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12)

This can be a hard lesson to learn. It is so tempting to seek revenge against those who hurt us. You may never have hurt someone physically, but have you ever “shunned” someone — that is,
ignore them, or not speak to them at all — because you were angry? That is a form of revenge. We have to do a lot of self-examination to find out the subtle ways we punish others. We must destroy all traces of revenge in our thinking.

“Self-ignorance, self-will . . . revenge, are foes to grace, peace, and progress; they must be met manfully and overcome, or they will uproot all happiness.” (Mis. 118)

Did you notice the word “grace” above? Revenge will prevent us from receiving God’s grace, or mercy. Root it out!

Further Study: Esau had good reason to take revenge on his brother Jacob. Find out what happened in Gen. 25-33.

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

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Merciful - #9

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