Choose love in the face of anger

A Christian Science perspective: Compassion and forgiveness can have a powerful healing effect.

One time when I had a bag of documents that needed to be shredded before leaving town the next day, I called a shredding company that accepts drop-offs. However, I was caught off guard when the man I was speaking with quickly became irate because it was not a scheduled day for such drop-offs. With no effort to hide his indignation, he reluctantly agreed to help if I could get there within a half an hour. I said I would be there and thanked him.

When I hung up, I could feel this man’s intense anger so deeply that I was actually shaking. But I have learned in my life the great joy that comes from striving to meet antagonism with love and compassion. In particular, I am inspired to do so by the example of love that Christ Jesus epitomized.

I have found that the more I express this Christly love, and strive to see the good in my fellow man, the more opportunity there is to bless and be blessed. I wanted to look beyond the picture of an extremely agitated person and instead see God’s child, who is inherently pure, perfect, and innocent, full of joy and kindness. As I did so, it became clear to me that as God’s precious children, neither of us were capable of rankling each other or causing disruption.

With no time to spare, I vowed to uphold this line of reasoning and to forgive. I felt confident that would have an impact, and it did. The situation had completely turned around when I arrived at the shredding company. Not only was this individual genuinely welcoming, but he also “rolled out the red carpet” so to speak. He gave me a tour, shredded my papers, and encouraged me to come back and ask for his help anytime. I was very appreciative.

I was also in awe of the healing effect that naturally resulted from being Christlike, and seeing and accepting only the truth about man as God’s child. The impact was tangible, enriching both of us, as this dear man acknowledged. When I was leaving, he humbly let me know that he had been touched by our interaction. When I replied that I had been touched as well, he gave me a hug.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, defines Christ as “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 332). What if we all strove to open our hearts more to the compassionate, forgiving love this divine message brings us? The outcome would have to be more healing.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

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.