by MARCIA HUFSTADER
member, Third Church of Christ, Scientist
What is it that binds us together or breaks us apart? What is it that makes us want to be with some people and not with others? Sometimes we face these feelings within our own families and sometimes in our circle of friends. Is there a way to always feel harmony and peace within relationships? Wouldn’t it be great if the solution was a simple one and we could flip a switch and all would be perfect? The Bible teaches us that the solution to keeping happy and strong relationships with both friends and family is grounded in our love for God, divine Love.
When we do love God, who is all good, it is natural to love His creation: our fellow man. It becomes a joy, not a burden, to follow Peter’s admonition to “…see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently,” (KJV) I Peter 1:22. That doesn’t give much room for dislike. When we begin to understand God, good, to be the only Creator and His creation to be His “image and likeness” as Genesis 1 (KJV) tells us, we no longer see others as unkind, jealous, envious, dishonest, uncaring, selfish or arrogant. We literally change our perspective and see a new view, God’s view of His creation. This view, through understanding God better, will overrule and replace any negative feelings we have about family, friends or foes.
Challenges will most likely come up in our day-to-day activities. In her book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy explains the importance of following Jesus’ example of loving others, stating, “Love must triumph over hate.” It’s that action—to love with “a pure heart fervently,” consistently and with great expectation—that brings progress to relationships. This strengthening of family and friendship ties is worth all the discipline it takes to be sure we are thinking about people the same way God thinks about them. It’s a responsibility that we can’t pass off to others. Each day it’s a joyous endeavor.