A Christian Science perspective: Learning how to discern ‘real truth’ strengthens efforts to better our communities, countries, and world.

“The question, ‘What is Truth,’ convulses the world,” wrote Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor and was an astute observer of the world (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 223). The turmoil in many parts of the globe today certainly illustrates that point.

Sometimes efforts are made to obscure the truth, as in fake news. Being able to discern the accuracy of what we read – to separate fact from fiction – is important. And I’ve found help in Christian Science, which gives a deeper understanding of God as divine Truth. What we might call “real truth” expresses God’s goodness, lawfulness, and love. Whatever divides, darkens, or confuses – such as hatred or violence – is not part of or justified by Truth. God, who is also Love, cannot and would not instill in anyone’s heart anything opposite to Love’s own nature.

The longing of the human heart to know what’s true is perennial, and is a thread woven throughout the Bible. Christ Jesus’ understanding of divine Truth not only enabled him to demonstrate the truth of God’s power to heal sick people, but also made him fearless in dealing with pride and corruption. In the face of his wholly unjust crucifixion, Jesus declared to the official sentencing him: “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:37). And he proved the profoundness of the spiritual truth to which he was witnessing in powerful acts of reformation and healing.

As I better understand the spiritual truth behind Jesus’ life and teachings, it has had an impact in my life. I can more readily discern between what is of Truth and what isn’t, and begin to see healing results in more modest occasions of facing corruption.

One time a group of town employees was engaged in wrongdoing that had an impact on my community as well as a neighboring one. When this came to light, I began praying.

My prayers helped me recognize at least two things. First, that each individual involved was in reality the spiritual creation of God, Truth, and therefore honesty was natural to everyone. I’ve found that cherishing this inherent honesty in people is a spiritual influence that subdues wrongdoing and dishonesty. It paves the way for reform where needed. Second, I saw that the desire to do the right thing is empowered by divine help.

Soon significant changes were made to improve the department that had been involved. Also, an arrangement was worked out so the situation could be peaceably resolved with the neighboring community.

I know I wasn’t the only one praying and working to resolve this situation, but I trust this prayer contributed to decisions that led us back on course – because I have seen, over the years, how God can guide us out of any trouble.

Divine Truth is ever present for you and me and everyone to turn to, no matter what country we are in or how dark or confusing a situation may seem. As Science and Health explains: “The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, ‘as when a lion roareth.’ It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear” (p. 559).

This spiritual fact can inspire our prayers for our families, communities, countries, and the 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.”

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 CSMonitor.com.

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