DO you know someone who has been acting like a trouble-maker? Such behavior isn't all that unusual. Our family has found what some might feel is a novel solution, however. It's the gospel remedy -- that message of love and healing given us by Christ Jesus in the New Testament. We immerse our response to others in the persistent love the Gospels teach. Christ Jesus' gospel remedies include forbearance, love, forgiveness, tolerance, and more love -- even in the face of repeated offenses. His message, far from being one of chronic suffering and repeated victimization, is one of the sure victory of the love the Gospels teach. Perhaps Jesus' own words, ``Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth,''1 best capture the spirit of this remedy.
But how could Jesus say such a thing? Did he mean that we should even forgive someone who seems unrepentant and unwilling to change? Jesus could hardly have said what he said or did what he did if he had not understood that in reality man is created in God's love and continues in this love forever. Man is actually spiritual, and God's love is the only real working factor in the thought and activity of man. We don't need to take a cold, stubborn personality as the reality of the man of God's creating.
So it really wasn't foolhardy for Christ Jesus to say, ``Blessed are the meek,'' because he understood that meekness, and not anger or defensiveness, is what brings out our true spiritual individuality.
Once, recently, I was the source of conflict in our family. I lost my temper when our three-year-old burned a hole in the rug by playing with a work light I had been using. I fumed. She cried and ran to hide in her room. And I promptly lost my voice. Small wonder! Because of the voice problem I knew at once that something needed changing. I sat quietly for a few moments to see how I could be more meek toward her and what had happened. As I prayed, I knew that because God had created us out of His great love, this love was the actual law of our being. If there is any correcting or disciplining needed, its basis must be in God's love, not anger.
In a few minutes I went up and read my daughter a story. I explained gently why she shouldn't play with tools -- and I also made a mental note not to leave potentially tempting things out. Then I fixed the rug. I felt the gospel remedy within myself, and in a short time my voice returned to normal.
We don't need to assume that friction, anger, irritation, and the like are just a part of everyday living. These negative elements stem from a misconception of God and man. They assume that God either approves of friction or is powerless to do anything about it. In fact, the opposite is true. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains, ``This human sense of Deity yields to the divine sense, even as the material sense of personality yields to the incorporeal sense of God and man as the infinite Principle and infinite idea, -- as one Father with His universal family, held in the gospel of Love.''2
Make no mistake about it, responding with a remedy like this takes lots of practice! But we do have the timeless example of Christ Jesus' life to inspire us. Although the circumstances in which he worked his healing remedy were doubtless far more challenging than ours, like him, we can turn to God's love and be victorious!
1Matthew 5:5. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 576-577.