God's love is yours to express

Loving our friends comes naturally. But when we draw on God’s infinite love for all, it becomes natural to love everyone – and this brings healing.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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It’s so good to act on opportunities to love others. That means, certainly, loving people we know. Also, it means loving people we don’t know. And, significantly, it can mean loving people we may never have considered loving.

Loving like that isn’t just a pleasant way to pass the time. Loving others matters more than we realize, because we’re drawing upon God’s love in doing so.

God’s love is more – infinitely more – than a human emotion. Without conditions, God loves us simply because of who we all are as His offspring – the spiritual expression of God, divine Love. The Bible doesn’t convey that God is merely a loving entity, but states that God is Love itself (see I John 4:8).

It’s never going to be necessary to earn God’s love. In order to better feel that love, though, we need to acknowledge it and act upon it. Christ Jesus said: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Jesus loved others by expressing God’s love, not just to help people feel happy, but to heal, reform, and restore them.

So, how do we follow Jesus’ instruction and draw upon God’s love to help and heal? To start, it’s important to be sure that we truly are looking to God for our supply of love. If we feel that we just don’t have enough love left to love others, if we’re feeling spent when we try, we may be looking to ourselves as the ultimate source of love. Or, say we express love toward someone, but we keep score, hoping we’ll receive something in return. That’s conditional love and, again, it’s a limited, personal love.

Instead, when we love others simply for the sake of loving as God loves, we’re on the right track. We expect nothing in return; we don’t do it to control others or hope they change and do what we want; we just enjoy being the expression of Love, and acknowledging that others are, too. It’s not about ignoring or condoning bad behavior, but acknowledging everyone’s capacity to feel and express God’s healing, reforming love.

We’ll notice that the more we do this, the more invigorated we start to feel. That’s because we’re drawing on God as the source for our love, and God’s love truly is infinite.

The Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, observes in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space” (p. 520). When we behold all space, including all our mental space, as overflowing with infinite Love, we can follow Jesus’ example and heal.

I saw this happen some time ago when, almost daily, a person with whom I worked showed hatred toward me. I remember thinking, “I really don’t know this person, and this person definitely doesn’t know much about me. Why such resentment? Should I just continue to ignore it?” I tried being nice, but this only seemed to inflame his feelings.

So I prayed, basing my prayers on only one thing: God’s love for this individual. My goal was to constantly see him as on the receiving end of a waterfall of God’s cleansing, tender, assuring affection.

After a few weeks of praying this way, I noticed a change. The hatred had shifted to indifference. This encouraged me to pray even more diligently. Finally, the day came when I was standing in a group with some coworkers, and I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was this person! He smiled at me with genuine friendliness, and that was the end of the issue.

While modest, this experience hints at a poignant lesson. It reminded me how important it is never to ignore our opportunities to actively express God’s love. Science and Health instructs, “If Spirit or the power of divine Love bear witness to the truth, this is the ultimatum, the scientific way, and the healing is instantaneous” (p. 411).

Yes, God’s love is ours to express, anytime. Beholding God’s love for a friend is a powerful prayer. It’s also a powerful prayer to behold God loving someone you’d never thought of as a friend. This approach to active loving is so important for our world today.

Watch for opportunities to prove how God’s love truly is enough to heal, comfort, cleanse. Stick with it. As the Bible counsels, “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 1:21).

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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.

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