Respond with love
How often I told myself not to react. Yet it seemed that this one particular individual I had to work with had the knack of getting me into a mental flap. I really didn't know whether this was his conscious intent. But second-guessing his motive wasn't going to help the situation anyway. Attributing an unpleasant characteristic to someone just fuels a vicious circle of emotional reactions.
I knew I had to do something about this situation. So at home one evening I sat down in a quiet place by myself and determined to seek a healing solution.
This Bible verse came to thought: ''Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.''n1 I pondered that, along with a statement by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: ''The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the only Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind -- called devilm or evil -- is not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality.''n2
n1 Philippians 2:5.
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 469
''Let this one Mind be expressed in me'' was the message these ideas spoke to me. My motive in grappling with the ideas was to gain spiritual inspiration and guidance. I knew that if I was expecting a healing effect, it would do me little good merely to philosophize about the ideas. I would have to put them to active use.
Something of a struggle went on in my thought that evening. Through an understanding of the one Mind I had to rout out feelings of being personally hurt and victimized. I also knew I couldn't nurse an injured feeling or indulge in self-justification for serving up a little sarcasm myself now and then. To seek a spiritual answer required me to be honest in my desire to understand God as the one Mind - and to be willing to live faithfully by that understanding.
This explanation, by Mrs. Eddy, of the nature of infinite Mind, helped me immensely: ''Mind is the same Life, Love, and wisdom 'yesterday, and to-day, and forever.' Matter and its effects -- sin, sickness, and death -- are states of mortal mind which act, react, and then come to a stop. They are not facts of Mind. They are not ideas, but illusions.''n3
n3 bid.,m p. 283
In this instance all that could claim to cause or sustain negative personal reactions was the belief that I or my co-worker had a mortal mind, materially formed; that we were guided by mortal impulses instead of the divine Life, Love, and wisdom that never change. Could I go so far as to accept that these episodes were actually illusory in nature?
That night I prayed to understand that in the reality of God's, Mind's, allness, these inharmonies were illusory -- they indeed were not within Mind. I steadfastly acknowledged that there really is only one Mind, which I and my co-worker expressed. I prayed to be able to act in accord with the spirit of love toward this individual.
The next day I didn't even have to try not to react. I didn't merely ignore him or endure him. I actually felt genuine love toward him. It wasn't that I felt that I ought to love him in spite of certain annoying habits. I realized that God knew him and loved Him as His perfect image, and so it was natural for me to reflect that love. I felt wonderfully free.
It was gladdening (but not suprising) to see the mutual annoyance and reactions stop. In fact, we continued a pleasant and considerate working relationship. The best part of this healing is that it spilled over into many other areas of my life. Instead of impulsively reacting with anger or hurt feelings, I began to respond to divine Love, and with love.
That evening in study and prayer was well worth it! DAILY BIBLE VERSE He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8.