The power of freedom
A Christian Science perspective: Let freedom ring!
Freedom! It’s a word that rings in many places today, just as it rang in the American struggle to become an independent nation in 1776. The July 4 holiday in the United States celebrates that victory, and on July 14, the people of France recognize their own successful quest for freedom.
Both of these victories for independence from tyranny began with individuals who were willing to give their lives for freedom. It’s safe to say that many of these people recognized that real freedom must allow freedom of thought. This includes the right to worship God without interference, the right to think and speak freely, to share ideas, and to live under a just government.
This quest for independence is an ongoing journey for nations and people. Even those who have achieved a high level of freedom and justice face challenges. Corruption, materialism, racism, and other issues would impede and discourage progress. But I find that turning to prayer and affirming God’s, divine Mind’s, government over nations, and my country specifically, restores my hope.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: “The history of our country, like all history, illustrates the might of Mind, and shows human power to be proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking.... Legally to abolish unpaid servitude in the United States was hard; but the abolition of mental slavery is a more difficult task” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 225).
One form of mental slavery is to want something better but to become hopeless and accept the belief that no matter what one does, things will not change for the better. Another is to passively accept injustice, as “just one of those things.” No doubt there were people who felt that way in the past even as they do today. But American patriots, like many in countries around the world, saw freedom as something much too precious to do without. It was worth fighting, and even dying, for. They recognized its power to do good and to reveal each one’s talents to the highest degree.
Even today, hopelessness and passivity can be temptations. But the freeing “might of Mind” is available to every one of us. In prayer, we can turn to God, Mind, to guide our inherent spiritual intuition in making decisions and in interacting with others. For example, prayer inspired by the motive to do good helps us reject feelings of anger and work toward solutions. This past winter a flotilla of plows went down my street and pushed snow across the entrance to my driveway just as I was leaving for work. I prayed as I called to the next plow driver, and, instead of being angry, I was able to calmly explain my situation. He willingly turned around and cleared my driveway.
I find the Bible, especially the lives of the early Christians, a great resource for my prayers on behalf of my country and others where people are working toward a higher, purer sense of government.
The Apostle Paul traveled hundreds, maybe thousands, of miles in sharing the message of spiritual freedom that Jesus presented. Paul told the early Christians at Corinth, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17).
To me, the “Spirit of the Lord” is the healing Christ that Jesus presented to humanity. It includes love, respect, kindness, intelligence, strength, and joy. We are transformed by the Christ as we understand these spiritual qualities to be from God, and an indelible part of who we all actually are. Recognizing our spiritual origin empowers us to love, and choose good for ourselves, and it opens our hearts to pray for the freedom of others.
And just as it did in biblical times, this same Christ speaks to all of God’s children, providing wisdom, spiritual strength, and courage – because these qualities come from Spirit, and we, as God’s spiritual reflection, include them. Prayerfully acknowledging our spiritual origin and that of others’ uplifts the mental atmosphere for humanity, supports those near and far, and helps everyone respond positively to the changing times that make new demands on citizens’ cherished concepts of freedom and independence.
The liberating Spirit of the Lord is ever at work in individuals, moving them to strive unselfishly for freedom for all. It opened the way for Americans in 1776 and the French in 1789, and it is opening the way for freedom now.