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Taking the liberating step beyond forgiveness

From the June 2017 issue of The Christian Science Journal

When working through pain or suffering from an unkindness spoken or an injustice done, many folks have found comfort in the words of the famed poet Alexander Pope, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.”

Humanity often seems susceptible to erroneous thinking and acting, and this can lead to the common justification that to err is actually natural. Yet we long for consolation and freedom from the hurt these offenses bring. Through life’s lessons we gradually learn that only genuine and heartfelt forgiveness can achieve this. However, to experience the full blessing of forgiveness, a spiritual understanding of God’s nature as pure Love, and an understanding of the truth of man as the very reflection of this Love, are required.

Peter once asked Jesus, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Jesus, sensing Peter’s desire to have a fixed rule for the sometimes difficult task of forgiving, replied, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21, 22).

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