Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 Testimony Meeting
At 8: 15pm EDT every Wednesday, we have a Testimony Meeting featuring readings from The Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and Prose Works, as well as testimonies of Christian Science healing and wonderful music. All are welcome!
Theme: Taking Offense
Readings: Gary from NJ
Nahum 1: 3 (to : )
3 The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: …
Proverbs 16: 32 (to ; )
32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; …
James 1: 18-20
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Matthew 4: 23 (to 3rd ,)
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, …
Matthew 5: 1, 2, 8-12, 21-25, 38-48
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
223: 25-32 next page
There is immense wisdom in the old proverb, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.” Hannah More said, “If I wished to punish my enemy, I should make him hate somebody.”
To punish ourselves for others’ faults, is superlative folly. The mental arrow shot from another’s bow is practically harmless, unless our own thought barbs it. It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another’s self-assertion. Well may we feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford to be miserable for the faults of others.
A courtier told Constantine that a mob had broken the head of his statue with stones. The emperor lifted his hands to his head, saying: “It is very surprising, but I don’t feel hurt in the least.”
We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, — determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor even when it is, unless the offense be against God.
Nothing short of our own errors should offend us. He who can wilfully attempt to injure another, is an object of pity rather than of resentment; while it is a question in my mind, whether there is enough of a flatterer, a fool, or a liar, to offend a whole-souled woman.
Who is thine enemy that thou shouldst love him? Is it a creature or a thing outside thine own creation?
Can you see an enemy, except you first formulate this enemy and then look upon the object of your own conception? What is it that harms you? Can height, or depth, or any other creature separate you from the Love that is omnipresent good, — that blesses infinitely one and all?
Simply count your enemy to be that which defiles, defaces, and dethrones the Christ-image that you should reflect. Whatever purifies, sanctifies, and consecrates human life, is not an enemy, however much we suffer in the process. Shakespeare writes: “Sweet are the uses of adversity.” Jesus said: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake; . . . for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
“Love thine enemies” is identical with “Thou hast no enemies.” Wherein is this conclusion relative to those who have hated thee without a cause? Simply, in that those unfortunate individuals are virtually thy best friends. Primarily and ultimately, they are doing thee good far beyond the present sense which thou canst entertain of good.
Not to avenge one’s self upon one’s enemies, is the command of almighty wisdom; and we take this to be a safer guide than the promptings of human nature. To know that a deception dark as it is base has been practised upon thee, — by those deemed at least indebted friends whose welfare thou hast promoted, — and yet not to avenge thyself, is to do good to thyself; is to take a new standpoint whence to look upward; is to be calm amid excitement, just amid lawlessness, and pure amid corruption
To be a great man or woman, to have a name whose odor fills the world with its fragrance, is to bear with patience the buffetings of envy or malice — even while seeking to raise those barren natures to a capacity for a higher life. We should look with pitying eye on the momentary success of all villainies, on mad ambition and low revenge. This will bring us also to look on a kind, true, and just person, faithful to conscience and honest beyond reproach, as the only suitable fabric out of which to weave an existence fit for earth and heaven.