“And forgive us our debts” – Q&A #7

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And Love is reflected in love;

Question: Do we have to forgive everything that others do to harm us?

Answer: There is very little, if anything, that cannot be forgiven, as Jesus proved. If someone hurts our feelings, lies to us, cheats us, steals from us, or harms us or our family, we may feel they have done something to offend us. We feel they owe us something, even if it is only an apology. Often the apologies do not come; the debts are not paid. But if we have the forgiving spirit of Jesus, we will not have to carry the mental weight of these unpaid debts, and make our hearts feel heavy. What a burden! As the Bible assures us:

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Ps. 119:165)

And Mary Baker Eddy writes:

“Nothing short of our own errors should offend us. He who can wilfully attempt to injure another, is an object of pity rather than of resentment.” (Mis. 224:28-30)

“To punish ourselves for other’s faults, is superlative folly. . . . It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by
another’s self-assertion. Well may we feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford to be miserable for the faults of others.” (Mis. 223:29)

“The Christian Scientist cherishes no resentment; he knows that that would harm him more than
all the malice of his
foes. Brethren, even as Jesus forgave, forgive thou. I say it with joy, — no
person can commit an offense against me that I cannot forgive.” (’02 19:8-12) 

* * *

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Forgive #7

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