The mandate of Love
A Christian Science perspective: A response to recent election results in Greece.
The winning party in the recent Greek election has authority by popular vote to move forward with its policies. Though many people are celebrating, others are anxious and overcome with hatred toward both past and present leaders. It may seem as if there are legitimate reasons for being unhappy with political policies and leaders, but hate is never an acceptable part of any political process. Its opposite, love, can be seen as the dominant characteristic of true governance.
The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, gives a decisive blow to the notion that hate has any legitimacy or authority. She wrote in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned” (p. 454). Love, as defined in the Bible, is understood to be God (see I John 4:8).
Being motivated by Love is the changeless mandate we all have within us to act in accord with our true nature as children of God, of divine Love. This is true for everyone, everywhere, because we are all created in God’s image as His spiritual reflection. Our prayers for all those who hold positions of power are helpful as we understand that they too have God-given capacity to make decisions in line with the same Father-Mother, universal Love. As we pray to see ourselves and others as reflecting divine Love, we begin to see love reflected in our own experience, regardless of the human government under which we live. And this gives hope to others as well.
The consummate example of living by Love’s mandate is shown in the life of Christ Jesus, referred to as “the elect of God” (Colossians 3:12). Empowered by divine Love, he healed the sick, purified corrupted hearts and minds, raised the dead, and blessed countless people. Of his healing works and teaching, it is recorded that the people “were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). His authority was not by political mandate; it was the demonstration of Love as the only power. As Jesus proved, no other motivation but love for God and our fellow citizens can bring about corrective and healing changes.
It is the presence and power of Love reaching our thought that purifies our consciousness, ridding it of hate and all evil motives. The Love that influences our own hearts has no restrictions; it reaches the hearts and minds of all whom our prayers embrace and can be felt even by those in positions of government. When its influence is felt, hate begins to dissolve and thought begins to open up to more loving ways of governing.
Mrs. Eddy explains, “The government of divine Love derives its omnipotence from the love it creates in the heart of man; for love is allegiant, and there is no loyalty apart from love” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany,” p. 189). The understanding of this can form the basis of our prayers for our governments as we recognize Love’s ability to motivate every heart. It brings a unity of spirit and cooperation that blesses all.
By learning more about the government of Love we begin to let go of personal or political self-will; instead, we abide by the changeless mandate to live in accord with divine Love and allow Love to govern the hearts, minds, and actions of all. When we love each other as one universal family under the guidance of Love, we contribute to the improvement of human governments.