God’s government resolves conflict

A Christian Science perspective: Discerning God's government heals conflict.

Reading about Colorado’s Continental Divide in this week’s cover story has inspired me to pray about the heated rhetoric surrounding the issue of climate change. My prayers have led me to consider God’s government and how we find evidence of it in our lives.

At one point when I worked in Congress, I was part of a team crafting a bill where congressmen on the committee felt personally responsible for parts of the bill that would directly affect their constituents. Consequently, debate on the bill turned intense, ugly, and disheartening. People started getting up and storming out.

While this was happening, I silently prayed. This was a natural response for me as a Christian Scientist, because in my life, I had seen many conflicts resolved through acknowledging God’s government of a situation. One of the healing ideas I pray with during confrontations is from the Bible: “Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10).

This idea that one God created us is given in the first chapter of Genesis, where all are made “very good” in God’s own image (Genesis 1:26, 27, 31). And because God is Spirit, His image is spiritual, reflecting Him perfectly. The oneness of Spirit and its reflection can’t be divided or conflicted; and, in reality, there can be no rift or conflict within God’s creation, His reflection.

This is something Christ Jesus came to prove. He lived during a time of great political upheaval, yet he was still able to heal hatred, illness, and lack in spite of the politics surrounding him. Jesus knew God’s government to be harmonious, and his healing demonstrations proved that the one God is what truly governs us. He showed how discerning something of this divine governance – the kingdom of heaven, in which discord, hatred, and destruction don’t exist – reveals God’s harmony to us in our lives.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, provides a definition of “kingdom of heaven” that was very helpful to me during the heated debate: “The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 590).

In my prayer I affirmed that I, and everyone, exist in the kingdom of heaven, “the atmosphere of Spirit,” where harmony reigns.

Over many hours, as I affirmed these spiritual, healing facts about God and His creation, my thought began to calm. While the problems raised that day took a few months to work out, there was a harmonious and mutually beneficial outcome that blessed those affected by the bill. I was so grateful to see this resolution.

Today, I’m inspired to continue praying to see God’s government reign wherever divisions need to be prevented or resolved.

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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.”

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