Moving beyond the limitation of taking sides

A Christian Science perspective: What it takes to move beyond a limited point of view that chooses sides.

Someone I greatly respected shared with me once that you really can’t help anyone if you are taking sides. He was right. And that advice has proved true again and again.

His guidance wasn’t being offered from just a human standpoint though. It was grounded on the basis that God, divine Love, is the sole creator. As the Bible states, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Other inspired statements in the Bible also affirm that what God established continues to be good. Seeing out from this spiritual perspective helps us move beyond merely taking sides to a more comprehensive, healing view.

To give you an example, a friend once called with a critical need. As she was explaining her situation, it occurred to me that I had a magazine article that would be very useful to her in solving her problem.

I asked her if I could read it to her, and she agreed. I started by telling her the title of the article and then the author. As soon as she heard the writer’s name, she immediately rushed to judgment and associated him with a group of people she intensely disliked because she disagreed with their views and the actions they were taking. My friend got so angry that she hung up on me.

During a conversation several weeks later, she brought up the problem she was dealing with again. Nothing had been resolved; things had become worse. As I was listening, the same magazine article came to my thought to share with her. This time, without drawing attention to the author, I recited a couple of paragraphs from the article that I thought would be helpful to her. What I read to her did, in fact, help, and her problem was quickly solved in a way that was far better than she ever expected.

The author of the article wasn’t trying to coerce anyone to join a particular side. And similarly, I wasn’t an agent trying to steer my friend into changing her opinion. I only wanted to see her at peace and lend a helping hand to lift her out of her difficulty. If I had discounted an idea that someone was offering based on where she thought the person stood on a particular issue, I wouldn’t have been able to help my friend find her answer. It would have been like going down into a well, a limited viewpoint, with her. Staying out of the well, so to speak, I was able to help her find answers that met her need.

Narrow judgments based on limited reasoning and personal opinions tend to restrict us and our ability to be a helpful force for good. However, looking at what God has established for man – that as children of divine Love we are loved and made to be loving – lifts us above intense emotions or hopelessness and opens our thought to the naturalness of good and to solutions that bless.

This approach is what enabled the master Christian, Christ Jesus, to be so successful in his healing ministry. His understanding of the good God created was a key aspect of what allowed him to heal multitudes and to help bring peace to his followers. Jesus’ renowned Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5-7) was, and still is, the instruction manual for the brotherly kindness that embraces others and brings healing to our world today.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, also spoke of starting with divine goodness to bring healing. In one of her books, “Christian Healing,” she wrote, “There is but one side to good, – it has no evil side; there is but one side to reality, and that is the good side” (p. 10).

As we go forward in our daily affairs, regardless of what our eyes and ears are taking in, we can turn to the spiritual view that God made His children very good. This view precludes any fearful reactions or closed-minded opinions. Prayerfully, we can release personal assumptions and embrace the reality that God created and fulfilled, which presents His children as complete, expressing wisdom and love.

As was the case for my friend and me, yielding to this fundamental aspect of God’s creation reveals answers in the most harmonious and practical ways. Regardless of who we are and where we live, we each have the ability to move beyond the limited view of taking sides.

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 Moving beyond the limitation of taking sides
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today