One of the slogans used during the International Year of the Child was the wistful question of a small boy, "Why can't everybody love everybody?" More than ever this question challenges mankind. Yet the Bible shows clearly that universal love is not only possible, it's natural. Why? Because God is divine Love, and everyone in his or her true being is the immortal expression of Love.
It must have been his understanding of man's nature as Love's reflection that prompted Christ Jesus to urge, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven." n 1
n1 Matthew 5:44, 45;
Jesus' idealism is practical. It shows that no one is excluded from God's impartial, tender care. God's love cuts right through every unlovable concept of man. It shows man to be God's own glory, eminently worth loving. God's love is not influenced by racism, nationalism, political or religious beliefs, status , or age. His man is wholly perfect.
So isn't it natural to reflect this universal Love? Divine Love is the only power there really is.
Why does it seem so difficult to love everybody?m Do we have to ignore the hatred and violence so rampant today? Well, they were just as evident in Jesus' day. And he didn't ignore them. He knew that hatred and violence do not really belong to man, but are imposed by what St. Paul later described as the lawless "carnal mind," which is "enmity against God." n2
n2 Romans 8:7;
This carnal mind is both the perpetrator and the perpetration of evil. It includes all false, mesmeric states of thought. It claims to be our thinking when we react to what the material senses say of man. It affects us in such forms as fear, resentment, hatred, which obscure the Christ -- God's ideal of love, goodness, peace, and harmony.
"Who is thine enemy that thou shouldst love him?" asks Mary Baker Eddy. n3 And in her reply she writes, "Simply count your enemy to be that which defiles, defaces, and dethrones the Christ-image that you should reflect." n4
n3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n4 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 8.
When I was a small boy I love my grandmother very much. It gave me a warm feeling to know that in her eyes I was something special. It made me want to be always good. But one day I was rebellious and disobedient. And to my chagrin I was placed under the care of the housemaid, who was instructed, "Take him for a walk until he learns to be a good boy!"
As we walked along the seafront, I gloomily contemplated the waves pounding the beach. On our return home, my grandmother enquired, "Well, has Ronald been a good boy?" To which I replied, "I'm not Ronald any more. I'm John. Ronald was drowned in the waves."
Perhaps this was simply a small boy's way of expressing repentance and a genuine effort to reform. But somehow I had glimpsed that a rebellious, disobedient nature did not really belong to me, and could therefore be disposed of -- consigned to the waves. Perhaps I had begun to realize that my real nature, "John" -- a new name that stuck for years after and had to be carefully lived up to -- was inherently good. Some time later, on being introduced to Christian Science, I began to learn that man's real identity, God's immortal likeness, is indeed permanently good; and in the proportion that I lived this reflected goodness I had more harmony and health.
Each of us can strive to drown the mortal, imperfect concept of man and preserve the good. This is the kind of love that will transform us all. DAILY BIBLE VERSE If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well. James 2:8