Shift in thought: from winning, to healing

A Christian Science perspective: On letting God, and not human impulses, guide us.

Often there is a great deal of pressure, particularly surrounding heated political issues, to change one’s mind. Or maybe we want to change others’ minds, and find that they are resistant to do so. Amid those contradictory pressures, it’s helpful to consider the basis for such mental shifts.

Christ Jesus began his healing ministry by calling for a radical shift in thought: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). That word “repent” is translated from the Greek word metanoeo, which means to change one’s mind. Essentially, Jesus was encouraging people to change their basis of thinking from a sense of the world as governed by material laws and human impulses to a more uplifted view, rooted in the understanding that we’re created by God and are meant to live under His government of Truth and Love here and now.

Mary Baker Eddy, Christian reformer and founder of The Christian Science Monitor, earnestly sought to follow Jesus’ example of exchanging human views of things for a more spiritual perspective. She wrote that “there must be a change from human affections, desires, and aims, to the divine standard, ‘Be ye therefore perfect;’... The human affections need to be changed from self to benevolence and love for God and man; changed to having but one God and loving Him supremely, and helping our brother man” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 50). This, she promised, would bring healing.

So perhaps the most fundamental question for each of us to ask is this: Is a shift needed in my thought here to bring about healing? By asking that honestly of ourselves, we’re rising above the narrow focus of trying to make sure our view wins and somebody else’s view gets corrected. Rather, we’re proving a Christian willingness to surrender personal views or desires in service of that greater cause of wanting divine Truth and Love, the infinite intelligence of God, to guide us all. In doing so, we can bless not only ourselves but our communities, governments, and neighbors around 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.