“And forgive us our debts” – Q&A #8

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

Question: What are some steps we can take to help us forgive others?

Answer: We must first make the choice to forgive. We are to develop the attitude that Jesus taught us in the Beatitude:

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt: 5:7)

Mary Baker Eddy suggests a starting point:

“One’s first lesson is to learn one’s self; having done this, one will naturally, through grace from God, forgive his brother and love his enemies.” (Mis. 129:5-8)

What if there is a strong feeling that the wrongdoer needs to be punished? Mrs. Eddy
explains we must leave this to God:

“If you have been badly wronged, forgive and forget: God will recompense this wrong, and punish, more severely than you could, him who has striven to injure you. Never return evil for evil; and,
above all, do not fancy that you have been wronged when you have not been.” (Mis. 12:5)

Note how a sense of love is important in the process of forgiving, as found in these further instructions from Mrs. Eddy:

“We must love our enemies in all the manifestations wherein and whereby we love our friends; must even try not to expose their faults, but to do them good whenever opportunity occurs.”
(Mis. 11:17-21)

“May God give unto us that loving sense of gratitude which delights in the opportunity to cancel
accounts.” (Mis. 131)

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

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Forgive #8

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