To some people getting even is a way of life. An employee who had been removed from his position and later reinstated was asked if he had forgiven his employer. His laconic reply: "You don't forgive; you don't forget. You get even."
Getting even is blaming others rather than honestly facing an issue and helping to resolve it. But it's not natural to our true selves -- our spiritual nature. It is a mortal quality and leads to violence and grief. Our real character, God's reflection, is tranquil, lacks no good thing, is never dispatched. In His infinitude all have all.
The desire to get even indicates an ignorance of God's government of the entire universe. Vindictiveness declares that He is not omnipresent and that His law of infinite provision and care for man can be set aside.
The urge to retaliate stems from the supposition that man has a dualistic nature -- that he is both evil and good. Both the urge and the supposition can be dealt with effectively through spiritual understanding.
During a severe famine isaac was given permission to live in the land of Gerar. "And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great." Isaac's progress provoked the Philistines' envy, so he moved to the valley.When his servants dug wells there, the herdsmen of Gerar claimed them as their own. But Isaac refused to quarrel even though water was a precious commodity. He elected to keep his thought pure, trusting God's promise to him, "Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee." Isaac saw this promise fulfilled. As he moved away from belligerent, retaliatory thinking , he found new wells and an abundance of water. n1
n1 See Genesis 26.
A spiritual perception of God and man's relationship to Him helps dispel antipathy between individuals and nations. Christian Science shows how one can dig deeply to reach the well of scientific truth and drink its healing waters. The insights obtained through communion with God, the divine Mind, reveal one's true, immortal identity, totally free from recriminatory urges.
Christ Jesus met revenge with forgiveness and love. Prior to Jesus' crucifixion, Peter cut off the ear of the high priest's servant, who was with those seeking to get even with Jesus for stirring up the people. The Master rebuked Peter's desire to retaliate and restored the man's ear. n2 Mary Baker Eddy n3 draws a clear distinction between Jesus' motives and those of his persecutors: "His purpose in healing was not alone to restore health, but to demonstrate his divine Principle." She also says, "The motives of his persecutors were pride, envy, cruelty, and vengeance, inflicted on the physical Jesus, but aimed at the divine Principle, Love, which rebuked their sensuality." n4
n2 See Luke 22:51;
n3 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 51.
By practicing moral and spiritual qualities, one can defeat human will. Pride, envy, cruelty, often ripen into covert, acts of terror and destruction. The piqued child at play, the harried motorist on the freeway, the devastated marital partner, may attempt to get even -- sometimes by singular and devious methods.
But it takes more courage to express restraint than recrimination. Mrs. Eddy writes in Miscellaneous Writings:m "Not to avenge one's self upon one's enemies, is the command of almighthy 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." n5
n5 Miscellaneous Writingsm , pp. 227-228.
Nothing can change one's status as the child of God. There is no power or intelligence to produce such a change. God is impartial, unchanging Love, and He is All. This profound truth reveals man as the satisfied idea of Soul, lacking nothing. It enables one to obey the divine command to love one's neighbor as oneself.