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Getting Even

Lowell Fillmore

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Remember that when a person attempts to get even with someone who has wronged him by paying him back in kind, he descends to the offender’s level.

It is impossible to become superior by following an inferior lead. To prove my worth I must do better than the wrongdoer. Doing evil because someone else does it is illogical.

We must remember that when some persons stoop others must stand erect so as to prove that God created His children to stand thus. Those who are rude when others are rude and polite when others are polite are like putty; they lack inner strength. It seems foolish to follow people who make mistakes when it is so much more profitable to follow those who are accurate.

There is a Spirit in us which is the Christ Spirit, and He will lift us up and out of all difficulties when we enlist His aid. When we lift up the Christ in us we help to lift up many of those about us. When we do wrong or when others do wrong we must endeavor to rise above the shadow of that wrong into the realm of Christ light, where we can discern what is right.

Jesus Christ outlined the attitude that we should assume if we wish to grow into perfection. Here are some of His suggestions:

Forgive your enemies.
Do good to them that persecute you.
Agree with your adversary quickly.
Be humble, loving, and kind.
Render service to others instead of acting dictatorial and pompous.
Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.

By following these simple instructions we shall find joy, peace, and friendship everywhere we go.

Remember that the only satisfactory way to get even with anyone is to help him out of his error by setting a good example before him. You can do this by letting more of God be expressed through you.

If you should have a flat tire you would not try to get even with it by swearing at it and abusing it. The only way you can get satisfaction and service out of that tire is to fix it. If a friend lets you down you will not get satisfaction by abusing him with words of sarcasm and criticism. The best way to deal with him is to lift him up with your thought of love and good will.

Too often we are prone to fasten a mistake upon a person as though it were a permanent part of him. To avoid this unfair attitude we must free ourselves of this old negative human habit of depreciating others. First we must definitely tell ourselves that we really do not want this person, be he friend or foe, to display any mistake like this, and agree with ourselves that we really do want him to be a good citizen. We shall then see that in order to lift him out of the consciousness that caused him to make the mistake we must begin to change the kind of thoughts we have been thinking about him. In other words, we must forgive him.

When we forgive someone we set him as well as ourselves free from the subtle spell of that mistake. The fact that a mistake was made is no sign that it has any foundation in Truth; and when we look at it from God’s standpoint we realize that the mistake has no existence in God’s sight. Remember that at best a mistake or an insult is poor thought material to build into our mansion of happiness. When we cast thoughts concerning the misdeeds of others out of our mind we lighten our own burdens. Seeing the Christ in the other person reveals the hidden treasures in him and thus adds to our joy of living.

In view of the hidden riches of love, peace, harmony, and joy that God has in store for us here in our own nature and in the character of all people about us, it would seem very unwise for any one of us to carry a heavy load of criticism about with him. These riches are worth more than all the gold in the hills, and they are as easy to carry about as a smile. Wearing a bouquet of pleasant memories is always good form on all occasions. Pleasant thoughts are about the most perfect environment anyone could wish for. They are even more beautiful than gardens, mountains, lakes, and skies. Beautiful thoughts make even outer things more pleasing.

A grouch thought is an unpleasant thorn in your heart even though it is aimed at someone else. It cuts you and it hurts you more than anyone else. Some persons follow a strange method in trying to get even with others. They hurt themselves in order to make the other fellow feel bad—they have a kind of martyr complex. They figure that if they can make the person who has offended them uncomfortable by torturing themselves they have gained something. Will somebody please explain what they have gained?

Some persons may go so far as to think that by dying they can perhaps punish a friend or an enemy who has aroused their ill will. This proves how unreasonable the desire to retaliate is and how vain are its results.

After all, the best and most reasonable way to get even when somebody offends you is to realize that you are a child of God and not a crybaby. Try to realize that you are the child of a perfect Father, God, who has given you His perfect Son, Christ, to aid you in solving all your problems so that you may be perfect also.

Remember that your heavenly Father makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust. Following His example we learn to

be perfect as He is perfect, and we enjoy getting even with everybody by forgiving them!


SUNDAY: I am not disturbed nor irritated by anything in the earth, the sea, or the air, for I am guided and protected by the power of God dwelling in me.

MONDAY: My attention is ever fixed upon the goodness and power of God.

TUESDAY: I forgive you, and I bless you for reminding me that for a moment I had forgotten God’s loving presence.

WEDNESDAY: In humility and meekness I thank God that His loving, living, wonder-working power is now doing His mighty works through me.

THURSDAY: I am free from the burden of critical, resentful thoughts. My heart is light because I have forgiven my debtors.

FRIDAY: Through Christ in me I am perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect.

SATURDAY: The riches of the kingdom of heaven are now mine.