Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Love's Standard for Russia and Georgia

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Love's Standard for Russia and Georgia

Article excerpt

Although a cease-fire was declared, the conflict between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia goes on. Will the ethnic hatreds that are part of the conflict continue to simmer? What is the long-range future for these provinces? How can the conflict be brought to a peaceful end?

None of these are easy questions to answer, and the complex relationships between nations and ethnic groups within these areas seem to make the situation even more difficult to resolve. But the book of Isaiah - much of which recounts various wars and God's protection and love for His people - offers this thought: "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him" (Isa. 59:19).

A standard is often a flag that is a symbol or rallying point. It follows then, from a spiritual standpoint, that the standard that the Lord lifts up is one of unity and peace, not of fear and hatred. No matter what ethnic or political group people have identified with, God loves each of His children.

So prayer for peace between Russia and Georgia can begin with a conviction that God's universal love includes all parties. God sees each individual as His idea. From this come certain specific conclusions. First, that as the child of God, each one is able to hear God's voice, leading to peace and away from conflict. Second, that because all are God's offspring, they can love one another enough to overcome whatever hatreds may have been in the past or may have sprung up as a result of the current conflict.

Some have said, according to news reports, that these two factions could never be friends again, but this isn't actually true. Divine Love dissolves hatred. It unites all in universal harmony.

Another aspect of divine Love is its nature as infinite Mind, the source of all intelligence. In Mind, mistakes are impossible and only good can come. It's when we give in to the carnal, or mortal, mind - which always opposes God's goodness - that we may be led into dangerous acts that often seem, after the fact, to be irreversible. …

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