Sharp criticism, harsh indifference, silent hatred, false rumors, or abusive behavior might cross the path of all of us at some point, but they cannot reach or hurt a heart filled with and sustained by God’s love. Whether there’s an issue at work, at home, with a neighbor, in church, or in any other arena, there is the perfect solution. Lines from a poem by Mary Baker Eddy explain it best: “Wait, and love more for every hate, and fear / No ill,—since God is good, and loss is gain” (Poems, p. 4).
It isn’t always easy to love in the face of hate. But a heart filled with Christly love and humbled by divine Love’s presence understands that the most intelligent, honest, and loving approach is to mend the breach in the demonstration of lasting harmony. And this involves forgiveness.
Forgiveness can be a sticky thing. On the one hand, we may sincerely want to sense the spirit of Christ and express love for another who has attempted to cause harm or is guilty of a moral violation. On the other hand, there may be a strong desire for justice to prevail that will rebuke or punish the wrongdoing and bring redemption.