The Bible urges us to be ‘kindly affectioned one to another’ but, we often ignore this advice. Social media makes it easy to see how many people choose to be mean, short tempered, even cruel instead of being kind and thoughtful. Constant political party bitterness and never ending gun violence are clear indicators of not forgiving. Man’s dark, agonizing history of never-ending wars surely is absent the light of kindness and forgiveness.
And light replacing darkness is what we need. The Bible reveals, “God is light and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5) and, “God is love: (4:8). God’s love is illuminated in our experience when we love our neighbor as ourselves.God’s reflection. Christ Jesus taught that the two greatest commandments are: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” And,“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31) .
How do we love and forgive our neighbors when they act in hateful ways? Jesus showed us the way while being tortured on the cross; he forgave those who put him there, praying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). He didn’t scream out in retribution toward his tormentors, he loved them. In that moment Jesus taught us to love others as God loves them— in their existence as God’s spiritual reflection.
Loving our neighbors and even loving ourselves can be challenging. Through prayer and Bible study we can grow closer to God.When we set aside quiet time to pray and be in communion with God we reaffirm our oneness with our Creator. “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6). As our understanding of God increases our love for man is inseparable from our love for God. Another way to increase our understanding of our connection to God is by studying Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy teaches that God is Mind, that He is our creator, that we are one with God and that we reflect His intelligence. “God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love” (p. 465)
The more we understand our connection to God the easier kindness and forgiveness flows. Because we are never separate from God. Our love for man is inseparable from our love for God. We can choose kindness and forgiveness daily because we exist in God’s light and ever present Love. We can begin today spreading the light of Love!