The right side

A Christian Science perspective: Following God’s direction keeps us from getting bamboozled by faulty logic.

In her garden chat with a sneaky snake, Eve learned how worldly blandishments beguile us into doing what we shouldn’t (see Genesis 3:1-6). That famous talk got the Bible’s first couple evicted from the Garden of Eden.

The moral of the story is something we should all learn: that human logic and its faulty conclusions are not a substitute for the discernment of God, divine Truth. A well-loved proverb puts it simply: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (3:5, 6). As we come to know this freeing fact, we see omnipotence trump impotence, and human misconceptions cease to bedevil us.

My first snake-talker appeared on my fourth birthday, when I was staying with an aunt and uncle. An older neighbor made fun of the birthday kite my uncle had given me. “It’s so dinky,” he said, comparing it with his own large kite.

I looked wide-eyed at his kite as he asked if I wanted to trade. “No, your kite is ripped!” I said. “Well, my kite is bigger and better than yours, so that makes us even. Besides, your uncle can fix it,” he replied.

We swapped kites. Proud of myself, I ran home to show off my new kite to my uncle and ask him to fix it. But he said it had been a mistake to trade because the larger kite could not be repaired. Duped by the allure of owning a big kite, I had foolishly given away my uncle’s prized birthday gift for a kite that wasn’t any good.

To me, the kite swap shows how we can end up making unwise decisions through faulty logic, whether it comes from a crafty neighbor or a common belief in sickness or limitation. To ward off mortality’s misleading claims – especially the belief that we are material beings – we need to understand how to bar them from our thinking. The belief of mind in matter is fundamentally false, and when we recognize that God is our only Mind, our experience changes to one of greater peace, harmony, and stability. Error of any stripe is neither scary nor powerful.

The Bible has many stories telling how right thinking corrects wrong believing. Elisha had it right in two skirmishes with the Syrians. First, when Naaman, the leader of the Syrian army, asked Elisha to heal his leprosy, he expected the prophet to come to him and perform a grand act. Instead, Elisha sent a messenger to tell Naaman to go wash himself in the river Jordan. Insulted by the impersonal response, the mighty Naaman stormed off in a rage. But his servants urged him to do as Elisha said, and Naaman humbly waded into the muddy river and was healed (II Kings 5:1-14).

Later, after Elisha repeatedly saved Israeli forces from Syrian ambush, the king of Syria sent his army to Dothan to capture the wary prophet. Early in the morning as the huge Syrian army was about to strike, Elisha’s servant saw the danger and woke the prophet. Elisha told the young man, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.... And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (II Kings 6:16, 17).

Elisha knew that safety was already at hand, because as it’s often said, “One on God’s side is a majority.” We can prove in our own lives, perhaps in more modest ways, the truth of that statement. Since God alone is real, we don’t need to be tempted to assign reality to any whispering thoughts that try to pull us away from the right side.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to The right side
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today