When Jesus instructs us to forgive 70 x 7 ( see Matt 18: 21, 22 ) I realized that forgiveness was not just required many times, but also in many dimensions.
Let me explain. Recently, I gave myself time to really clean out my closet of thought. Over the years, there have been a number of instances that required forgiveness on my part, and yet these instances kept cropping up. It was time to be done with this! I needed to totally replace these subtle ruminations with whole-hearted communion with God.
I listed all the grievances I had throughout the years, and then took a look at each one and saw how I could let go of each hurt. Christ Jesus' words were instructive: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." As a list, I saw that all these grievances had to do with ignorance, apathy, helplessness and a distrust of God's justice. Each of these errors were replaced with the truth about God's children: each of us reflect Truth, Spirit, Love, Mind and Principle.
But there was more. Christ Jesus' command "Love thy neighbor as thyself" (see Mark 12: 31) brought in another dimension.
Forgiving my neighbor was important, but I saw I also needed to ask forgiveness for myself. Why? I needed to ask forgiveness that I could ever have been fooled into thinking God's children could be anything other than Godlike! I asked God to forgive me for ever indulging in self-pity, self-righteosness, self-will; for being angry or convinced that I was a victim. God created me in Her image and likeness. I was not created as a target or an empty vessel or as vulnerable. God created me in Her image and likeness: whole, complete, strong, fulfilled. I needed to ask forgiveness for ever having lost sight of that. And on the heels of that, I was so very VERY grateful to acknowledge that God had never EVER lost sight of who I was as Her beloved child.
And finally, one more dimension. There is another story about Jesus' encounter with a man. The simple introduction has always moved me. It was prior to a response Jesus gave to a man who had asked him a
question: “And Jesus, beholding him, loved him.” (Matthew 10: 21) I can just imagine the look of compassion and calm confidence on Jesus' face. Beholding is a way of looking at someone.
Mary Baker Eddy goes into this in depth:
From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 476:32-477:5
" Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy. "
I gave myself over to accepting this "perfect man." My innocence, my purity, my strength have their roots in infinite and permanent Truth, an all-inclusive Love, and a tangible, invigorating Spirit. I am holy.
And because I understood that dimension, it was easy to see that each one of God's children is holy. Discord is unreal. At that point of acceptance, I saw that there was nothing to forgive. In each and every
incident, there was nothing to forgive.
I love that thought of asking forgiveness for one's self for ever being fooled into believing God's children could be unGodlike.
10/3/2012 05:02:26 am
Thank you Colin! I am glad you found inspiration here. Asking forgiveness for oneself for ever having been fooled - that was a keeper for me too! These lessons on forgiveness are so thorough. Thansk for sharing your inspiration, too!
10/3/2012 04:42:18 am
This is a beautiful post. It helped me see my son in a more loving and forgiving way. He is struggling with depression and deeper anger towards life. He llives with me and I struggle daily not to lash out with anger of my own. I am new to CS and have been studying with the Bible Lessons. They are helping me too. Just one thing, I believe you are quoting Mark 10:21, instead of Matthew. :)
10/3/2012 05:27:15 am
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Kim C Korinek, CSB
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