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When faced with anger, choose to love

From the January 30, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

As I watched a TV program laced with anger over government policies and positions of elected officials, I started to feel angry. My insides tightened, and I became critical and gloomy about my country’s future. The more I listened, the angrier I got.

After a while of soaking in this negativity, I realized that I was in a mental place I didn’t want to be. I saw that fiery anger and across-the-board-condemnation were not constructive ways to promote progress and healing. So, I protested. “Wait!” I declared. “I don’t have to get angry because someone else is angry. I can think for myself and let God, divine Mind, lead me.”

To break free from being mesmerized by the on-screen rage, I prayed to see God, and not someone else’s political opinion, as the one true Mind that really guides each of us—everyone. God as Mind is Love (see I John 4:8), and Love does not impart hatred, fear, and intimidation. The one Mind that is Love governs with understanding and care.

As the spiritual children of God, we reflect the one Mind. So we are divinely endowed with the ability to express qualities of compassion, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, and goodwill toward our neighbors, no matter on what side of the political spectrum they may stand. The temptation to be cruel or feel self-righteous toward another was not of God, and therefore had no real power to hold my attention or affect my state of mind, I reasoned. I could choose to let Love lead my thinking, to stay open-minded and respectful, and acknowledge that harmful thinking has no Mind or power.

I knew that my country had its share of problems begging for resolution, and as I prayed to see how to help, I found comfort in the truth that God is the all-knowing Mind that inspires ready solutions to any problem. The healing need was not to get embroiled in further fear-mongering, but to calm my thought with humble prayer and to listen for God’s direction. I could do that, I knew, and I could pray to see that my fellowman also has the innate ability to do the same.

As I prayerfully committed to be a healing influence and not a perpetuator of negative emotion, the change in my outlook was dramatic. I no longer felt like a mindless puppet manipulated by political spin. I was expressing more of my true nature as a child of God: in possession of good thoughts, and also showing Christly love and consideration toward others.

Love does not impart hatred, fear, and intimidation.

The lessons learned from this experience can be applied to any number of different scenarios in life—any scenario where we may feel justified in getting angry because the atmosphere around us is an angry one. For instance, if a friend gets mad, we may feel compelled to get mad with him. Or others who are upset may strive to get everyone around them upset in order to justify their own anger. But when we understand that there is one Mind—divine Love—that governs all and meets the needs of the moment, we can humbly listen for solutions and overcome mental turbulence. We can prevent our thought from being swayed by heated emotions and wild fears, and allow divine Love to work in us, inspiring the restoration of peace and calm.

As children of God, we are not unthinking beings destined to believe and accept whatever is thrown at us. We reflect the intelligence and wisdom of God, enabling us to reason through issues with grace, poise, and dominion over anger. The one Mind knows what is good and true, which empowers us, as God’s reflection, to be in control of our thinking and emotions, and to be receptive to solutions.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Love must triumph over hate” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 43). It’s the primal nature of God’s man to love, not to be angry and mad. We all reflect the one Mind, divine Love, which we can turn to in keeping our thought at an inspired height that feels and knows God’s presence. This in turn dissolves fear and opens our perspective to discern doable solutions. Impelled by divine Love, in the face of anger we can choose to express that love, rather than to hate; and thus, we can be a healing influence.

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