Many viewers of the Discovery Channel will be considering a six-part series titled “Why we hate.” The series is described as exploring “one of humanity’s most primal and destructive emotions – hate.” While it is hoped that viewers will find ways to deal with this emotion, and even turn from it, there is much we can learn by giving thought to another perspective: Why we love.
When this “why” is understood by humanity, nothing can keep individuals from defeating hate in the most fundamental way. For people around the globe, certainly for Christians, Christ Jesus’ expression of love holds the solution to triumphing over hate. Jesus’ love had a world-changing effect; it healed disease, saved sinners, and even revived to life some who had died. His forgiveness and compassion were incomparable. And because of his love for all of us, and because he recognized humanity’s need for divine instruction on why and how to love, Jesus promised a “Comforter.”
Many have found this Comforter to be revealed in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross, once said about Mary Baker Eddy, the author of Science and Health and a fearless follower of Jesus: “Love permeates all the teachings of this great woman, – so great, I believe, that at this perspective we can scarcely realize how great, – and looking into her life history we see nothing but self-sacrifice and selflessness” (The New York American, Jan. 6, 1908).
When we see such powerful examples of love lived, and its mountain-moving effect, it’s understandable that we would want to find ways to follow these examples in our own lives. But to do so, we need to know the “why” of love. We need to understand what gave great individuals the ability to rise above hatred and triumph over it with a love that was beyond a personal or human emotion. For countless people, the discovery of Christian Science, explained by Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health, has provided this understanding.
The instruction in Science and Health amplifies the Bible’s statement that “God is love” (I John 4:16). From beginning to end it explains the present reality of what’s stated in the first chapter of Genesis about all being God’s children, made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). Jesus was the ultimate example of this likeness, and Science and Health explains that his manifestation of divine Love is what gave him full freedom to exercise authority over sin, disease, and death.
This Love gives us the ability to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, learning that freedom too, liberating us from discords and discomfort. And perhaps most importantly, it frees us from the devastating effects of either harboring hatred or being the object of it.
A young woman proved this freedom when she encountered growing hostility from a fellow employee. Instead of reacting in kind, she prayed persistently about it because she knew “Love is the liberator” (Science and Health, p. 225), and that the divine law of Love could bring freedom from conflict. One day she felt the impulsion of Love so strongly that she embraced the woman who had expressed such hard feelings and said, “Let’s be kind to each other.” That moment opened the door for years of genuine friendship between them.
Mortals hate because they believe God’s children are imprisoned in a material experience, and hatred is a facet of materiality. The Comforter brings to light our true being as immortal, right now, made in God’s, Love’s, own image.
As we begin to understand this profound truth and live it in daily life, we discover hatred is not rooted in God’s reality. It rests on ignorance and a false sense of what is real. There is no law requiring us to express it or be victimized by it. But there is a divine law that, when understood, frees us from it.
Why do we love? Because that’s what we are created to do. We are made in the image of divine Love, as Love’s very expression. That’s the truth, and Christ Jesus assured us, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).