Rising above the fray

A Christian Science perspective.

Sometimes you may feel you’re in a compromised position. Perhaps it’s a neighborhood disagreement or an upset in the workplace. Or it could be a family squabble. Although not directly involved, you may be tempted to take sides, adding your own opinions to an escalating confrontation. But isn’t there a better approach – one that doesn’t draw you into the fray?

Support given without words, either pro or con, can be very effective. Maintaining a balance when matters are spinning out of control can help contribute to an amicable solution.

I’ve found that this approach requires keeping my thought free to welcome in healing ideas that include a genuine love for both parties. Focusing on each one’s spiritually pure nature – and the God-like attributes making up that nature – helps elevate my thought above the controversy.

We can face down the dark thoughts that try to crowd out joy, and hold fast to the goodness inherent in each individual as a loved expression of a divine Parent. In doing this, we can avoid taking on personal responsibility for the outcome. Our efforts to rise to a healing atmosphere of thought are rewarded. In this love-filled space, where God reigns, there can be no support for feelings of antagonism or alienation. This approach brings with it a peaceful assurance that God is operating in the minutiae of our life – and removes the onus of taking sides.

I saw this proved recently. A disagreement between two members of opposite sides of the family was threatening the plans for a family gathering. As an onlooker to this squabble, I could take sides, or I could let prayer raise my thinking to a higher realm, a healing one.

I reasoned that taking sides would only widen the rift, but refusing to side with either party and supporting a right solution through prayer would help restore harmony. 

This statement from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy inspired me to proceed in this direction: “Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying, and elevating it” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 57). I knew my thinking about the situation needed elevating.

This was evident when one of the individuals attempted to win me over to her side. The idea of Love “enlarging, purifying, and [especially] elevating” my nature enabled me to lift my thought above the temptation to take sides, and still to remain loving, but neutral.

As I maintained this altitude, challenging the downward pull to dwell on the discord, I saw that I could remain impartial by refusing to indulge in criticism of either party.

I found support for this stance in this statement, also from Science and Health: “Nothing is real and eternal, – nothing is Spirit, – but God and His idea. Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense” (p. 71).

When we witness disturbances that threaten to throw us off balance, we can be most effective by maintaining our spiritual poise.

The door to that “elevator” is always available as we seek a healing refuge in which to open our thought in prayer to God’s messages. In the quiet of elevated thought, we can rejoice in the promise of healing that lifts us into the atmosphere of Love’s ever-presence where there is no room for misunderstanding or hurt feelings.

The victory for me lay in not taking sides but in maintaining a spiritual altitude. Later I heard from one family member that peace between them had been restored.

Staying out of the fray, but not ignoring it, enabled me to contribute through prayer to its resolution. Siding with God, instead of persons, places us in a healing role. What better part to play!

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