The Attitude of Love
From Teaching and Addresses by Edward A. Kimball
The Necessity of Watching
Suppose that each one of us should keep watch for twelve hours and see how many times we admit error, or declare error, or declare for something that is against ourselves. You would be amazed to see how much you do this. If you would keep account of it for twelve hours, it is very likely you would watch yourself forever. Again, what do you suppose you would find if you kept account of every thought that is unlike Love? Here is humanity, and we see it oppressed with hatred in its different forms. People hate, and yet expect to learn to love. The divine demand is to learn to love your neighbor as yourself; to learn to do unto others as you would be done by.
How far do you have to go before getting at the fault, if you put that rule into practice? Put it to the test,—Would I like to have my neighbor do this thing to me, be thinking this thing about me? Before the evil words come, before the evil feelings, before the evil actions, if we would stop and say, “Would I like to have him do this to me?” How many times would you say, “No”?
Price of Help from God
Until we stand at the door of thought, with the most intense earnestness, and put the Golden Rule up as the test of our thought and feeling and action, and learn to be governed accordingly, we hope in vain for satisfying help, in vain for heaven, for the healthy or whole idea of Life, because Love is substance, the animus, the Principle of Life. We must get the attitude of Love, and do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
Don’t Practice Condemnation
Learn to forgive, utterly to forgive. Cast out the terrible cruelty that defaces mankind. Take off the burden that you lay upon your brother man,—I mean the condemnation. What a pitiful weight do we cast upon a man when we enter upon a campaign of condemnation! How often do we practice idle criticism, which does him no good and hinders us? How long shall we be in forgiving? Never will we realize health and be happy in the brotherhood of man until we learn to forgive; to be merciful, forbearing and loving.
Encourage and Stimulate Good in Others
Practically, we are all sinners, every last one of us. We look upon a person who is sixty per cent bad and forty per cent good, and condemn the bad. Mrs. Eddy knew enough to use the forty per cent that was good. Now that is what we must do: make the most of the forty per cent that is good in our brother man, and wait for it to be fifty and sixty per cent, etc.
Learn to Love
It is a very easy thing for one to jump upon a pedestal and to say, “Thus saith the Lord.” It is with much reluctance that I do it. But I have learned this much. I have made the demonstration of learning to love. I have not one atom of malice toward any person on earth, and there is no one whom I would not forgive; and I have been just as resentful at times as anybody you ever saw. It is more comforting to love; vastly more pleasurable, a great deal more satisfying. It is astonishing that a man can be fooled by such an outrageous lot of stuff as hatred. It is mental gangrene. It absolutely consumes; it produces unhappiness and disease.
No Life Without Love
Then remember the judgment will be upon us, and if we have not love, then we live not, for Love is Life. As a whole, you see, as a procession, we move on toward this achievement, and all that it depends on is the expansion, the exaltation of our thoughts; keeping our thought reaching out; taking on a larger dimension all the time, having more of Love. Have it do all you can; and declare the right things; declare for that which you would have come to pass.