I have wondered if Jesus was thinking of marriage when he answered Peter's question, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus said, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven!"
I have been married twice, to two lovely men. And the need to forgive seems to be a recurring theme.
It isn't easy living in such close quarters in the workshop for spiritual growth called marriage. Someone is always watching. From important life decisions and family relations, to personal habits and attitudes, each one bears witness to their partner's progress as well as to the lessons they have yet to learn. Patience is helpful. Forgiveness is essential.
A comment that appeared recently on the Radical Act of Jesus to Forgive 70 times 7 really helped me. Nancy wrote: "Someone told me once that the phrase "no condemnation" includes the meaning of nothing incurable. One day, as I was praying with the thought of radical love and forgiveness, it came to me that there was nothing that couldn’t be healed, because there was nothing that couldn’t be forgiven."
Honestly, sometimes that is all it takes. To remember that nothing is incurable. No habit, no attitude, no behavior, no condition, no disease, no sin, is without an antidote in God's love. I think the pain of anger, at least for me, often stems from the frustration that I will have to put up with a problem forever. That it is incurable.
Now I can't be sure of the source of Nancy's "no condemnation" reference, but I will take a shot that it comes from Romans 8, where Paul says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
Forgiveness is never really between two people anyway. The forgiver is ultimately making a pact with himself to release the hurt, the anger, the angst, over another's learning and growing curve. This release is empowering. It isn't dependent on anyone else.
Maybe he/she messed up. Perhaps you did. It helps to know that nothing is incurable. The Spirit of life that we know as God assures that everyone will ultimately know and express their true nature as sons and daughters of God. No one will be allowed to miss the boat. And if it takes a little forgiveness every two minutes to help each other along the spiritual path to discover of who we really are, can't we do that for ourselves and for those we love?
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no