The power that silences rage

While it might sometimes seem that right and wrong are in perpetual warfare, in reality there is only one power – the power of good.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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I was driving home recently and came to a four-way stop. After looking for cross traffic, I began to drive forward into the intersection, when another car suddenly entered from the right, ignoring its stop sign. The driver just stared forward as if nobody else were around.

I jammed on my brakes and wanted to honk my horn. Then I wanted to quickly turn and follow this driver, blowing my horn. Then I was thinking, in following them, I could drive up next to their car, roll down my window, and yell at them while – you guessed it – blowing my horn.

You can see where this was really going: nowhere. Road rage is nothing more than letting a hurt ego act out, endangering yourself and others and accomplishing nothing in solving the problem.

This kind of reactive thinking seems to present itself in many other areas of life too. The constant clashing of individuals is nothing new. So, what really is the problem?

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes to the Romans with a conundrum – that of a perceived warfare within himself between two opposite laws: the law of Spirit, enabling him to do good, and the law of sin, warring against his spiritual nature to prevent any good works. He laments: “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24).

Paul got his answer, however, because just two verses later he stated: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

Christ Jesus not only preached but demonstrated that there is but one infinite, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting God, and that we are God’s children. Jesus did not preach of two competing minds, two competing egos, two competing creations. Through his healing practice he showed that violence, conflict, greed, and selfishness are not a part of God, who is Spirit, and therefore no part of God’s creation, man (meaning all of us), who is spiritual. The first chapter of the Bible even includes this statement: “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

If there is but one God, one Mind, and if God is only good, then it stands to reason that each of us has nothing but the power of spiritual good backing us up in all our daily thoughts and actions. Each day I pray and affirm that the one Mind goes before me in all of my dealings, and is protecting me and all.

Recently I moved to a new state and got a custom license plate. The message I chose speaks to God as the one and only power, and is a constant reminder that I am not alone, but here to seek and to serve one power, God. In my precarious driving predicament, I remembered that license plate message, laughed, and continued more calmly on my way, grateful that both the other unknown party and I had been kept safe.

In a talk to members of her church, the discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote of qualities such as innocence, unselfishness, and affection, “What grander ambition is there than to maintain in yourselves what Jesus loved, and to know that your example, more than words, makes morals for mankind!” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 110).

What a privilege it is to be Christlike, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in demonstrating the truths of his teaching in all of our thoughts, speech, and action, as anyone can do. In my experience, it’s allowing me to more intelligently and more honestly love all humanity. And as I do so, I find others expressing more love to me. They are really responding, of course, to the Love that is God.

Do you wish to always be loving and Christlike in all your actions? The privilege, the precedent, and the possibilities are clear. It is your divine right. One infinite Mind alone keeps us safe and secure in one grand brotherhood. Affirming that there is only one power – God, good – releases us from anger and inspires us to bring out the best in ourselves and be of service to our fellow men and women.

Some more great ideas! To hear a podcast discussion about bringing the message of God’s healing love to others through church, please click through to the latest edition of Sentinel Watch on www.JSH-Online.com titled, “When “church service” means a church that serves the community.” There is no paywall for this podcast.

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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.