ONE of the most effective means of resolving differences with those who are angry is to love unconditionally. Hatred is not a power in and of itself. It is the effect of believing that love and understanding are lacking. Destroy the belief by helping the unhappy one feel the presence of God, of divine Love--and by feeling it yourself--and the anger will disappear.
Before we can express love to others, of course, we must feel it in our own heart. In the heat of confrontation, it may be tempting to react in kind to those who are upset with us. But if we remember the greatest need is to remove anger and tension, not heighten it, we will not be so quick to intensify conflict. We can lift our thought out of controversy and listen for Love's guidance as to how the difficulty can be resolved in a way that meets the needs of all concerned.
When we're angry, we may be quick to justify our anger. But in the light of Christ Jesus' command, ``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'' (Matthew 5:44), no form of hatred or resentment is defensible. The Christian demand on each of us is to love, love, love--and to keep on loving, --until we know we have no enemies and have forgiven those who seemed to be enemies in the past.
This love is spiritual, reflecting God, divine Love. And we can always depend on Love, for the healing of strife. If we try to resolve differences on our own, confusion, uncertainty, and a feeling of helplessness, are likely. But when we rely solely on God, the one Mind, to restore harmony, healing is certain, for God is omnipotent good.
I was working out the details of a business proposal with someone I had worked well with for years. In the middle of our trying to figure out who should do what, my co-worker became very angry with me. The misunderstanding worsened and soon I lost my temper with her as well. The situation was getting out of control. We ended our discussion on a very unhappy note and left to go our separate ways.
In praying for a light to show me the way out of this dark scene, I realized that the points of disagreement were trivial compared to the need for mutual understanding and love. I decided that it didn't matter ``who did what'' according to the proposal, as long as I was able to get a better grasp of divine Love's presence and control. In the long-range scheme of things, Love is all that counts. God is Love, and when every business proposal ever ventured has come and gone, Love will still remain.
Indignation, anger, and frustration faded away on my part. I felt sure there was a heavenly blessing to come out of this, and I didn't want to miss sight of it by keeping my thought cluttered with ill will. She didn't need to change her position first, I did. As a worshiper of one God, I had a responsibility to acknowledge no other power than Love. This meant refusing to give in to pride, ego, or self-justification.
Later, my co-worker telephoned me. When I heard her voice I knew this was an opportunity to listen and let Love's presence be felt. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: ``Love, redolent with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light'' (p. 516).
It was obvious that the light of Love was being felt by us both. She apologized for losing her temper, and I readily conceded a point that had bothered her. Our good working relationship was restored and improved, for we both agreed that no business deal was worth sacrificing the need to love above all.
When tempers flare and hard feelings erupt, we do not have to let anger fester and dominate, but can see it be healed. Love is power, hatred is not. When Love rules the day, anger fades away.
BIBLE VERSE Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Hebrews 10:36