Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Necessity to Forgive

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Necessity to Forgive

Article excerpt

Diamond Reynolds shouted, "All lives matter, not just black lives." Her fiance, Philando Castile, had been shot and killed the day before by a white policeman while attempting to comply with the officer's instructions to present his driver's license and registration. Ms. Reynolds streamed an online video of the tragic event. But this was not out of revenge - it was for justice. Still, white policemen were targeted following the Castile shooting, resulting in the deaths of four white police officers and one Mexican-American policeman. We cry for them all.

I have come to understand that injustice and evil are destroyed by good, not by more evil. No evil act can have a power for good. And we can experience healing and more good only by following what is right.

Being principled - fair and just - and being loving - or merciful and compassionate - are not mutually exclusive. When we think of being principled and loving as effects of a higher Mind, or God, Principle and Love are seen to be synonyms. They both represent what is good, not evil. Speaking of God, the Bible tells us, "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other" (Psalms 85:10). Psalm 89 also offers: "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face" (verse 14).

If we are betrayed by a spouse, gossiped about by a trusted friend, or abused by one in authority over us, we may struggle with the harm done and the emotional hurt of the injustice. But if this pain is not handled - completely destroyed - it could turn us to hate. No one should allow this feeling to dwell within his or her heart or mind. Hatred often ends up being even more destructive than the initial affront. As we learn that God, good, is omnipotent, we see that evil must be, by simple logic, impotent and without justification. This spiritual fact was proved in the life and teachings of Jesus; and his followers strive to emulate the master Christian.

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Jesus forgave those who treated him so cruelly and put him to death. …

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