I find that society is much like a family. It takes great patience and love in order to make the kind of progress that benefits everyone. This was made clear to me when my family took in an extended family member who was experiencing personal difficulties. When anger flared up between family members because of conflicting opinions, I found that I could be more supportive when I prayed with the idea that love and patience are intrinsic to who we are.
It is actually within all of us to express more patience, because we are the children of “the God of patience.” As St. Paul wrote, “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus” (Romans 15:5). Through the teachings and example of Christ Jesus, we see the powerful effect patience and love have on humanity.
Thinking deeply on the idea that my family could be unified in the purpose of good because we had been given the spirit of patience and love became an active prayer for me. This view of each of us linked to God was a powerful antidote to stressful moments. If one person made a harsh remark and feelings were hurt, I turned to God to give me strength to express the spirit of patience and consolation. As I did, there was more joy expressed and amicable agreements were made to ensure that everyone’s needs could be met.
I understood that patience and love are essential for us to express, and therefore condemnation of one another is not normal. Because of the truth that we are God’s children, we have it within us to work together harmoniously. This gave me a fresh energy to support my extended family member, and everyone began to consistently speak more lovingly with each other.
Though human opinions within a family or society as a whole may differ greatly, I learned that helpful consensus does not come through coercion or psychological techniques. It comes from patiently waiting on the spirit of Christ to lift our hearts and minds to understand that, as children of the same God, we all have “the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16). In this way we are drawing on the presence and power of God, divine Love, to bring harmony.
Understanding the deep-reaching effect within society of the power of expressing the love of God, Christian Science Discoverer Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Love lived in a court or cot is God exemplified, governing governments, industries, human rights, liberty, life.” Later on the following page, she goes on to say, “Love for mankind is the elevator of the human race; it demonstrates Truth and reflects divine Love” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany,” pp. 287, 288).
Steps of progress for each individual, and for all of society, are made when we are patient and loving to those within the radius of our family and society.