Feel a spirit of love and peace, not fear

No matter what type of situation we find ourselves in, we can turn to God for the wisdom and love that dissolve hopelessness and fear.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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A friend of mine was often critical of her adult son’s well-intended actions. But her thought changed when her son had to quarantine in another country for an unknown amount of time. Through quiet moments of prayer, she realized she needed to drop her focus on her own opinions and disappointments. Instead, she cherished how much they loved each other.

She felt what many others have felt, too: a spirit of love that wakes us up to see what is fundamental and substantial in our lives.

Christian Science, based on the Bible, explains that God, divine Spirit, is infinite Love itself. Divine Spirit is always active, and this spiritual reality gives us the ability to stand up to anxiety about troubling news reports or whatever else may be going on in our lives.

There’s a verse in the Bible that makes me feel as though I’m wrapped up in a warm blanket of comfort and assurance. It’s from Second Timothy: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (1:7). In one short citation, we learn that God has nothing to do with fear, chaos, and uncertainty. Rather, God has given to us the energy, stability, and intelligence to address crises of any type, large or small.

Amid growing concerns about the coronavirus, questions about the state of democracy, and apprehension about climate change, to only mention a few, I’ve found this reminder empowering: God is the infinite source of intelligence and love that can never wane.

Many thought leaders note a social and global recalibration going on now that is shaping our future. Yet there’s also a deeper, quieter, mental renovation we can all take part in. At its core is a powerful spiritual stillness.

The Bible talks about the “still small voice” of God that comforts and leads us (I Kings 19:12). This stillness is referenced in “Retrospection and Introspection” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science: “The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action” (p. 93).

Even when the noise of human drama seems overwhelming, we can take quiet moments in prayer to get to a deeper understanding of God as omnipresent and all-powerful Love, and to claim God’s gifts of power, love, and mental soundness, including freedom from fear. And in these precious times of yielding to divine Love, what is most essential – the goodness and peace that are naturally ours as God’s children – comes to the surface.

We can find calm in the face of crisis. God, Love, hasn’t given us the spirit of fear – fear is not of God. Infinite Love’s ideas are constantly flowing to us to remove hopelessness and empower us with the wisdom and love to find our way forward.

Generosity, wisdom, discernment, and love have become the counter-narrative to the concerns of today. Insistent and consistent, such qualities will keep rising up and replacing fear and uncertainty in proportion as we continue to rely on the spirit of “power, and of love, and of a sound mind” that God has given us all.

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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.