We need something better in families than conflict and cease-fires. That something is what the Bible refers to as "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, [which] shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." n 1 God's unfailing peace comes to each of us when we break through the crust of material ways of looking at others -- ways shaped by prejudice, rivalry, envy, fear -- and understand something of God's all- encompassing love.
n1 Philippians 4:7.
Christ Jesus' love for others brought peace to those who needed it. He showed that this God-bestowed capacity to love is one all people have, for, as he made clear, the source of his love, God the Father, is our Father too. We see this fact more clearly as we reject the tendency to hate when we think others have treated us badly and instead reach out with the spiritual strength of Christlike love.
I had an example of the peace-giving nature of love in my own family. When I was about ten I had almost continuous fights with my younger brother. I was convinced that he was the source of all my problems.
One day when I was feeling particularly angry with my brother, I knocked him to the floor. A member of the family, who was a Christian Scientist, responded firmly and quickly with love. She went to the aid of my brother but, without hesitation, also told me that I knew better than to do something like that. I was incensed. Then it dawned on me that she knew something important. She knew that real love wasn't partial and that hate wasn't to be accepted.
This family member's expression of undivided love for my brother and me brought permanent peace to what had been a violent relationship.
As I have thought about this incident in later years, I have realized that true peace comes through love not only for the human being but also, and more basically, for the perfect idea of God that a person really is. I have come to see that to have peaceful relations with my brother and others is to reject the false notion of people as having certain clashing personality traits. Instead, I have to accept and appreciate the good qualities that everyone I deal with expresses.
Such a love of good awakens within one a deep respect for the spiritual family of God, and this in turn helps bring peace to our lives and environment. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, speaks of the basis of this wider view of peace: "When the divine precepts are understood, they unfold the foundation of fellowship, in which one mind is not at war with another, but all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, in accordance with the Scriptural command: 'Let this Mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.'" n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 276.
God is the unlimited divine Principle of all reality, the source of truly universal and impartial love. This love of God, which each of us, as God's immortal child, in reality reflects, is big enough to conquer any hatred. With divine power behind us, we can refuse to hate and, instead, insist on loving. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let thine hand, I pray thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father's house. I Chronicles 21:17