CONFLICT over personal differences at work can undermine harmony and quickly diminish the success of an organization. One way of resolving conflict among workers is to attempt to appease differing human personalities. Unfortunately, this approach doesn't always work and can result, in the long run, in even greater disagreement. There is, however, a better way to handle disagreements at work. We can turn in prayer to God's authority. When we realize that man as the child of God, or divine Mind, always works under this divine authority, unpleasant clashes caused by willfulness and egotism begin to yield to the law of God.
Conflicting opinions are often the origin of disagreements at work (and elsewhere). These can be resolved when we understand that each individual is responsive to divine leadings. As the Bible puts it, there is ``one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.''1
During the first weeks of a new teaching assignment, I was disturbed by conflicts with another teacher who disagreed with my methods and let me know about it! This open criticism finally came to a head in an intensely personal argument between us. At this point I saw how much I needed God's help.
I began to pray, remembering that divine Mind, God, is above all, governing every thought and action. I prayerfully insisted that my colleague and I were both under the authority of God and that we thus responded only to the law of infinite good. This divine law included the blessings of mutual respect, peace, and unity. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes reassuringly, ``When mortal man blends his thoughts of existence with the spiritual and works only as God works, he will no longer grope in the dark and cling to earth because he has not tasted heaven.''2
When trying to resolve a personal dispute, one can be tempted to think that he or she is the only one responding -- or even trying to respond -- to God's direction. But, as a result of studying Christian Science, I had learned that Mind, God, is reflected by all of His ideas. My prayer for harmony with my co-worker was not a lone cry in a sea of distress; it was a desire to understand the universality of Christ. In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy tells us, ``Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness.''3
I could see that this divine message, which Christ Jesus expressed so completely, speaks to human consciousness today as clearly as it did centuries ago. I could not be struggling alone for harmony, my fellow worker was also embraced by the infinite law of divine Mind.
After an evening of prayer, I returned to work the next morning to find that a new relationship had been established. We spoke of our differences with kind, considerate words and made a commitment to work together. This lasting change for the better taught me that solutions to personal differences, when they are found through prayer, are permanent.
Appropriate training for work is essential, of course. But human knowledge alone does not ensure harmony on the job. When we cultivate a desire to honor God, good, in our daily work and trust divine Mind to direct our thought and action toward unity, peace, and mutual respect, personal differences can be mastered under the authority of one infinite God.
1Ephesians 4:6. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,p. 263. 3Ibid., p. 332.