Hold to the good

No matter what we may see or hear – either in our own experience or on the news – there is a truth we can all hold to that does more than make us feel better. It helps us detect and bring out the spiritual force of divine good that is able to effect change.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Jeremiah Swift and Ryun King, tattoo artists in Murray, Kentucky, recently began offering a free body-art modification service to patrons who had hate-related tattoo slogans and symbols that no longer reflected who they were. Mr. King told CNN, “We just want to make sure everybody has a chance to change” (Alaa Elassar, “A Kentucky tattoo shop is offering to cover up hate and gang symbols for free,” cnn.com, June 14, 2020). Reports like these show the pure hearts of those willing to witness, encourage, and help others wake up to their true good selves.

When I was a young child, my mom – frequently overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising three teenagers and two preschoolers – was no stranger to profanity. I struggled to reconcile the sweet mothering I often witnessed with some of the harsh words that would escape from her mouth during the day. But I asked God to help me understand. And the simple answer that always brought peace was “Mommy is God’s child. Mommy is good.”

Seeing only what was good in my mom was so easy and natural. And it brought me that revelation of her true nature as good, as the reflection of God’s goodness. And I think that view of her helped heal the situation, because the cursing started to dramatically lessen. She became better known for her “whoopsie-daisies” than for anything off-color – a healing that lasted her lifetime.

Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote of the potential for great moral and physical transformation through an understanding of God’s infinite good, and the reflection of that goodness in the heart of humanity. In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she explained, “The admission to one’s self that man is God’s own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea” (p. 90).

Understanding the goodness that each of us reflects as the likeness of God sets us free to see through and heal undesirable character traits either in ourselves or others. Even more, it enables us to pray for the needs in the wider world with greater confidence.

The Monitor, in fulfilling its mission “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind” (Mary Baker Eddy, “The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 353), seeks out and highlights evidences of substantial good to be found in even the most difficult of human circumstances. And by bringing to light those difficult circumstances, this news organization is also pointing out to readers issues needing prayer. In particular, prayer that looks to the divine Mind that is God helps us detect and bring out the spiritual force of divine good that is able to effect change, when bad behavior, conflict, and vice seem to hold the reins.

In the last book of the Bible, Revelation, John writes about “a new heaven and a new earth” (21:1), indicating the great change that comes to light step by step as we recognize God’s goodness as supreme, overcoming and destroying all evil. Science and Health challenges us, “Have you ever pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom?” (p. 91).

We can see glimpses of the new heaven and new earth when we let the divine Mind show us what’s true about ourselves and others. We can see the reality of God’s goodness as the true motivator and governor of every individual. This prayer bears fruit on an individual level, but it is also bound to bring blessings on a larger scale, bringing out more of the truth of God’s good and pure creation.

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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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