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Signs of the Times
[From the Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada]

 
         "Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you," is well called the Golden Rule. He or she who follows the spaciousness of this rule will have advanced very much in the Christian duty to God and man. In this Golden Rule is contained the duty of making allowances for others, even as we would that others should make allowances for us. Who is there who has not need to be so considered and judged accordingly, in this world of imperfections? Here is the scope for the virtue of charity when it comes to thinking ill of people without making any allowances for their faults. Paul in his wisdom had a full conception of the meaning of this when he said: "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Here was Christian charity well portrayed in the truth of the saying that "to understand all is to forgive all." How often do we need this spirit of understanding when we rush without thinking to condemn others, forgetful of human frailties and heedless of the precept, "Judge not, that ye be not judged"!

         With the understanding spirit there is created the spirit of generosity. It prevents us from getting our judgment warped. It saves us from being impatient with one another and from being intolerant one to the other. Christ [Jesus] did not fail to show the world what is to be gained by understanding, even when he roused the ire of the self-righteous in allowing his feet to be washed with the tears and wiped with the hair of the Magdalen. He, in his benign charity, understood her case. Without understanding we, as the Apostle to the Gentiles so well said, become "without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful." How many wrongs have been committed, how many have been hounded and have become lost sinners, just for the want of that allowance which has its divine inspiration! And how would these judges themselves have acted had they been placed in the place of those whom they are so ready to judge and condemn? Is not this a question which will do each one of us good to ask ourselves on occasion? "Give me understanding," was the cry of the Psalmist, so "that I may learn thy commandments." Are there not amongst these commandments the commandments of forbearance one to the other, of exercising Christian charity in thought as well as in deed? Solomon, the wise king, was endowed with wisdom, but he was also endowed with that understanding without which wisdom is naught. Understanding was given him along with wisdom "exceeding much," and with it, as it is written, "largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore." Wisdom may be "the principal thing." But in being admonished to get wisdom are we not also told, "And with all thy getting get understanding"? We should do well to ponder how much the understanding spirit means where it is applied.



From the Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Quoted in "Signs of the Times"

Christian Science Sentinel, March 27, 1926


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