The true power – grace

A Christian Science perspective: On the power of grace that inspires good leadership.

Egotism and intransigence – even inhumanity – have too often accompanied the pursuit of political goals around the world. However, long-term stability and progress for nations have usually been the result of humility, compromise, and grace, which one dictionary defines as “courteous goodwill.”

For instance, while there’s certainly still progress to be made in South Africa, former President Nelson Mandela’s example of humility, strength, and grace toward both adversaries and supporters illustrated what can be accomplished when dogmatism or vengefulness are resisted.

Jesus Christ was a consummate model of these qualities, as is evidenced by the still ongoing ethic of his teachings after 2,000 years. In the face of wrongdoing, he had the integrity and strength to stand up to both religious figures and highly positioned government officials.

And through his understanding of God as infinitely good and powerful, he did so with a quiet grace that assured positive results, bringing reformation and healing where they were needed.

Is it possible and feasible today for us – including figures of authority, or even governments themselves – to express qualities of grace and still be strong and effective?

Yes, it is possible. We can follow Jesus’ example and achieve needed solutions today.

As a keen student of Jesus’ life and words, Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, once wrote, “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 4). The desire to live these qualities promotes peace.

And the good news is that these spiritual qualities of leadership and wisdom are available to and inherent in each of us, because we are all truly the spiritual creation of God, divine Love itself. In the Hebrew Scriptures, God assures mankind, through the prophet Ezekiel, “I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:27).

All of us, including those holding the levers of power, have the natural ability to express the spirit of God, which includes the attributes of genuine justice, mercy, and wisdom. And when we embrace and express these qualities, opposing tendencies fade away.

Oppressive and negative inclinations are not from God, so they do not belong to any of us. As God’s creations, we express only the wisdom, strength, and goodness of God.

The grace God continually bestows on us promotes peace and stability. Each of us is free today to experience the power of grace that inspires good leadership in our family, community, country, and world.

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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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