Through the centuries societies have struggled to form governments that value and protect their citizens, and in proportion as citizens feel valued and protected by their governments they support them. On the other hand, when citizens feel undervalued and unprotected by their governments, they look for ways to effect change – usually through the political process or peaceful protest. In extreme cases, however, individuals sometimes turn to violent means to effect change – such as the terrorist tactics that have emerged in today’s world – leaving most of the world’s population and their governments looking for ways to protect themselves.
In such an environment, people are naturally interested in the views of public figures. As a prominent public figure in her own time, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, was often asked about her politics. She once wrote: “I am asked, ‘What are your politics?’ I have none, in reality, other than to help support a righteous government; to love God supremely, and my neighbor as myself’” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 276).
In the Holy Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy discovered the laws of God by which God governs His creation. She learned that God is Love, and that He values and cares for His creation universally and eternally through His laws of love and harmony – and that God’s government, when understood and obeyed, brings the healing power of God into human lives. Herein is reason for rejoicing, as in Psalms 67:4, “O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.”
The government of God, understood spiritually, brings increasing justice, righteousness, and wisdom to human governments, including respect for the rights of everyone. This development is worthy of everyone’s loyalty and support, but it cannot be administered by force, nor are people themselves the source of this government. Instead, it is an established and permanent spiritual reality that can be discerned and demonstrated by receptive minds and hearts everywhere; therefore, the ability to experience God’s government can’t be taken away from anyone. When divine Love governs the thoughts of individuals – when they realize how thoroughly God values and protects every one of His children – the power of Love’s benevolence and harmony enters into their decisions for the benefit of everyone.
Now certainly no one can expect that all nations and peoples will suddenly understand and experience God’s government of love and harmony. But Mrs. Eddy’s approach – “to love God supremely, and my neighbor as myself” – is a powerful and peaceful means any individual can adopt for moving society in that direction. I have found the teachings of Christian Science regarding the spiritual nature of man – of everyone – helpful to me in understanding how I can participate in that noble purpose.
Christian Science teaches, as does the Bible, that man is made in God’s image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26, 27) – that since God is Spirit, man is spiritual, and that since God is Love, man reflects divine Love. This is, of course, a different view of man than is presented by the material senses – a material being with both loving and unloving characteristics. Through Christian Science one learns how to identify oneself and others as God’s pure and perfect spiritual reflection, and how to live accordingly; in other words, how to reflect the benevolent government of God in thoughts, words, and deeds emptied of fear, tempered by compassion, and guided by wisdom. And, as Mrs. Eddy wrote in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Reflecting God’s government, man is self-governed” (p. 125).
So, how does one individual’s learning of and living according to his or her true identity as God’s reflection help to promote good government and peace in the world? Good question. The key is in the word reflection. The power isn’t in that person, but in the divine Love he or she reflects. Divine Love is supreme. It fills all space because it is infinite. Its presence and influence make people feel valued and protected and capable of making a difference by peaceful means. When God’s love governs one’s thought, it brings healing by removing judgments based on misplaced prejudices and fears, thus making room for loving communications and mutually respectful and beneficial steps forward.
By loving God supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves (as God’s reflection), we are reflecting the supreme government of divine Love. People who are doing this are making a difference today – and so can you.