Peace on earth begins with us

The realization that God loves us all enabled today’s contributor to let go of the resentment and hostility she was feeling toward someone, leading to an improved relationship.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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“Put up thy sword!” was the thought that came as I was mentally criticizing and thinking hostile thoughts about someone.

This was Christ Jesus’ command to his disciple Peter in the garden of Gethsemane. Roman soldiers and Temple guards had come to the garden to take Jesus away to be tried, and Peter had reacted to the situation by cutting off the ear of the servant of the high priest (see John 18:1-11). Jesus calmly healed the servant’s ear (see Luke 22:51), while counseling Peter to put his sword away.

I interpreted this as a spiritual insight instructing me to stop mentally feuding with this person by focusing on her faults. We all have the ability to replace this kind of mind-set with forgiveness and something of the great love Jesus demonstrated, bringing our thought in line with the all-embracing love of God, divine Love. To bring healing to our relationship, Christian Science gave me a good starting point – to see both this individual and myself from a different perspective: as God’s spiritual, loving offspring. As such, we are harmoniously related to our divine Father-Mother God and to each other. God’s will for His creation is peace.

As we yield to God’s will by letting go of self-righteousness and criticism and letting divine Love guide us, we see harmony naturally manifested in our experience. This proved to be the case in the situation with this person: Our relationship continues to improve. And furthermore, my ability to remain peaceful and calm in aggravating situations has steadily grown.

Instead of raising the sword of resentment or anger in reaction to what’s going on around us, we can let the healing balm of divine Love sheathe it, replacing frustration or irritation with peace and calm. We can quiet our thought and pray to feel God’s love for us and for everyone – including those we’ve found offensive, who are in fact God’s precious spiritual ideas, capable of thinking and acting with honesty and kindness.

Accepting that everyone is capable of promoting peace in this way opens the path for our God-given peace and goodness to be expressed even in the presence of anger or wrongdoing. “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, explains, “A spiritual idea has not a single element of error, and this truth removes properly whatever is offensive” (p. 463). Elsewhere it states, “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; …” (p. 340).

Nurturing the spiritual peace that is inherent in all of us, we become peacemakers. A well-loved song includes these words: “Let there be peace on earth / And let it begin with me.”

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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.