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Gratitude destroys fear

From the June 1982 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Heartfelt gratitude and fear don't mix. Since gratitude is a positive mental quality that makes us gladly aware of God's power, presence, and love for us, it drives out fear. Moreover, it replaces fear with moral courage and with faith, which could be defined as the expectancy of good, based on God as good. Habitual gratitude keeps us so conscious of God's love and care that fear cannot be entertained. In fact, I like to think that gratitude is a conscious feeling of love for God, a reflection of God's love for us. It says, "I know You love me, Father-Mother, for I've seen some of Your blessings, and I love You back."

In an epistle John wrote: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."I John 4: 18. Perfect Love, which is God, is made manifest in God's love for man and man's reflected love for God. Unless we are alert we may not be aware how important it is to acknowledge that we do love God. Heartfelt gratitude activates our appreciation for God's loving care for all His children. Giving the spiritual sense of one line of the Lord's Prayer, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,"Matt. 6:12. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, "And Love is reflected in love."Science and Health, p. 17.

Fear is negative and has its supposed foundation in ignorance of God. The human, limited sense sees a problem and then ignores or forgets God's power, presence, and love. Fear asserts that man is vulnerable. Or it may claim that one's loved ones are powerless and may be out of the range of God's care. Fear is finity that can't conceive of infinity.

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