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The answer to friend problems? Love!

From the February 27, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Originally appeared online in the teen column: Your Healings - November 18, 2016

TeenConnect: Your Healings

A couple of months into my senior year of high school, I was having problems with a friend. I’ve known this friend since middle school, and she has always had difficulties when it comes to relationships. One day she came up to me to talk about an issue she was having with someone else. I found myself getting really irritated with her. About halfway into her story, I snapped. I told her that I had had enough of her always complaining about somebody. The minute the words flew out of my mouth, I regretted what I’d said. But I knew I couldn’t take them back. She became angry with me and stormed off.

Later that day I saw her in the hallway. I approached her to tell her how sorry I was for what I had said. Instead of accepting my apology, she just ignored me and walked away. I felt horrible. After that, every time she saw me in the hallway or the cafeteria she would ignore me or walk in a different direction. This pattern went on for about a week. I knew things couldn’t go on like this.

When I got home that afternoon, I lay down on my bed and listened in prayer for God’s direction. I needed to know what to do next. To me, praying is being mentally still and listening to what God has to say. It’s feeling that strong bond to God that nobody can ever break—knowing that I am actually one with God, inseparable.

I realized that loving is in our “spiritual DNA,” so it comes naturally to us.

It took me a while to hear God’s voice because I was mentally rehashing the situation with my friend. And at first, even though I wanted to hear God, it felt hard to differentiate between God’s ideas and the negative thoughts. Then I remembered something my Christian Science Sunday School teacher said about how we can know which thoughts are from God and which aren’t. She said that if an idea came from God, it would make me feel at peace. As soon as I remembered that, the thought strongly came to me to love this friend. I knew that was an idea from God because in the Bible it says, “God is love” (I John 4:8). 

I realized I hadn’t been very loving, but I knew I could love my friend because God, who is Love, made me. The Bible also says that we are made in God’s image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26, 27). So since God is Love, then I am the image of Love, and so is my friend. Whatever God is, we all express. For example God is Life, Truth, and Love, so we all have and can express the qualities of God—like peace, love, kindness, and so on. I realized that loving is in our “spiritual DNA,” so it comes naturally to us. 

The next day I made my way to my friend and sat her down so I could wholeheartedly apologize. This time, I was seeing both of us spiritually, as the image of Love, and that made all the difference. She began to loosen up and also apologized for the way she’d acted. We talked about how we could approach any future problems in a loving way. 

I feel we both walked away from this situation with a new outlook on the power of Love and how freeing it is to commit to loving. For me, this experience confirmed Mary Baker Eddy’s statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Love is the liberator” (p. 225).

Originally appeared online in the teen column: Your Healings - November 18, 2016 

— Lisa Andrews—Staff

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