Change your point of view to get along better with others

August 1, 2016 | 17 comments

I once had a fellow church member who was very hard to get along with. At least, that was my opinion of her. However, I needed to work with her because she was a key player in the church, and I was actively involved with many of its leading activities.

I accepted over time that I was not going to change this person. Anytime I tried to modify her opinion, I failed. She would harden her position and we’d be further apart than ever on vital issues.

So, I changed my strategy.

Instead of trying to change her point of view to align with mine, I revised my point of view of her.

I committed to seeing in her everything I had learned from Christian Science about God’s man and the one Mind.

In Christian Science, there are not many minds. There is not one human will pitted against another. There is one Mind, the divine Mind, which all have in common.

This woman and I were of the same Mind, I prayed to see clearly. Any opinion, position, belief, or fear that seemed to divide us was not part of our mutual relationship with each other as members of the one Mind’s family, the family of God.

I accepted that if I ever saw her of a different mind than me, then that was my error. I was seeing her incorrectly, and reformation needed to happen in my point of view.

It required humility to do this because it still seemed like her point of view was on Jupiter and mine was on Saturn. But I persisted in humbling pride and ego until I could see one Mind expressed by both of us, instead of two minds at odds.

In practical terms, while I learned how to practice this prayer, I avoided getting into conversations or discussions that previously led to stalemate. I decided it simply wasn’t important to talk about those things until I got my point of view correct about her.

Several months, even a couple of years passed, while I perfected this prayer and found my peace. But it worked. Over that time period, her stance markedly softened, at least from my point of view! And we found issues in common that we were both passionate about and able to work together as one.

I was so grateful for this change because we both had so much to offer our organization, and when we started working together, instead of against each other, the organization was greatly benefited.

So, if you’re ever tempted to think you need to change your neighbor’s opinion first, before you can get along. Think again. It could be that a change in your point of view of them could be the decisive factor.

17 thoughts on “Change your point of view to get along better with others”

  1. Thank you very much indeed for your wonderful testimony, Evan; that is very helpful for me!
    Sometimes I have been in a similar situation; and I do know that the way of prayer about such a situation is the only way we can go to solve the seeming problem.

  2. I really appreciate your ideas about changing the ‘point of view’, realizing the one with whom you don’t agree is really a child of God, and expresses the One Mind, just as you do!

    Your ideas about this subject really helped me Evan, and I realize the importance of working ‘together’ and holding to the correct view of someone you do not agree with! Thank you!

  3. Thanks so much, Evan–I need this reminder every day! When I think I understand the One Mind, along comes self-righteousness, clamoring for attention. Studying Page 242 of Science and Health reminds me that the solution is always available: “…let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error…” Thanks again!

  4. Good example for me to understand with this political environment in the US. I am, we all are created in Spirit of the one Mind, not separate but together in Life, Love and Truth. Good reminder Evan, I really needed that today.

  5. Oh boy! What member of an organization can’t relate to this one!!

    I have worked on this, regarding a fellow church member who seems to highly dislike/disagree with me, to the point of…well, frankly, it feels like malpractice, as Mrs. Eddy defines it.
    And yet I do believe this one has no wrong intentions to do this wrong thought toward or about me. I see this situation as my illusion to work on, not her problem. I thank goodness for this perspective! Church is a laboratory for working out/applying/living the truths that we know and love. Making them practical in “human life.”

    Thank you for these insights into a common problem, Evan. We shall overcome!!


  6. Thanks, Evan! This is good and so relevant in today’s political climate here in the U.S., as well as in other parts of the world! I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:3-5, which we had in last week’s Lesson, regarding …..”Why are you looking at the speck in your brother’s eye, but not even noticing the big log in your own eye?” Yikes! Can it be, can it really Be that it truly IS about what’s in MY OWN THOUGHT that needs correcting…..?? Good for you for following through and for sharing with us just how you did it! Sigh! I have miles to go…..!!

  7. Years ago, someone told me that when I point a finger at the person causing a problem for me, there are 3 fingers pointing back at me. This has always made me stop and think it through spiritually and scientifically. Thank you Evan for all you do. It is always a pleasure hearing from you 5 days a week. Susan

  8. Thank you Evan! This is a topic that I have struggled with. Knowing how to pray to resolve certain types of issues using Christian Science seemed straightforward to me, but how to pray to resolve relationship issues stumped me for many years. I think that was because I couldn’t figure out how me praying “over here” could change that person “over there” without praying specifically for that person which I had been taught is not ethical.

    But I have since learned that in Christian Science everything boils down to the viewpoint I am holding about God and His idea. In Science and Health there is this statement (pg 390):

    It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.

    Now when I’m faced with a “relationship problem” I try to remember to “find the leading error” and pray to understand the unreality of that belief. For example, at work I’ve struggled with people I felt were arrogant or uncooperative or even stupid (I hate to admit I thought that way). When I have prayed with what I know of God and His idea and applied those truths to counteract these beliefs, that has resulted in the relationship difficulty dissolving in amazing ways. And the best part about praying in this way is that it uncovers wrong ideas we are holding to that can often be the source of the problem (i.e. the problem isn’t “over there” after all, but something in my consciousness that needed correcting).

    For example, one time at work I had to get agreement from someone else on an idea I wanted to implement but this other person was not agreeing. So I prayed to know that in God’s creation, right ideas fulfill their purpose…nothing can stop the action of God from being expressed. I didn’t try to outline a solution, I just kept holding to those truths. Later it came to me to schedule a meeting with this person to discuss my idea and I was amazed at how cooperative this person was and he even had suggestions for a better implementation of the idea I wanted to implement. The end result is that we ended the meeting on very good terms and everything worked out harmoniously.

  9. I am so grateful for today’s lift and all the comments. I look forward to these every day and every day I find the topic so fitting! Today’s lift hits home in a very big way for me, as I’ve been working out the solution to a problem with some family members. I now see that I need to work out my outlook on them and the supposed complications.

    Thanks again to Evan for his daily thoughts, for being a transparency for God’s messages.

    Love to all:)

  10. Thank you for this Evan and to all for your reply. It really hits home.
    I, too, have been struggling with a fellow church member with an entirely different view of quite a few matters in church. I realize my approach has been “if only he would change his thoughts” on these many matters.
    Today I start looking more carefully at my thinking and working and praying to change how I am seeing him.
    Thank you again all.

  11. As a RE Broker I had two parties to bring together. I relied on “agree with thy adversary” (Math 5:25). I would find any small point to agree with, a little at a time, and soon we had arrived at a meeting of the minds. I have used it in other situations as well. It is fun to discover how many points you end up agreeing on and watch the process of softening on both sides til there is virtually just one side, one mind.

  12. What a lovely demonstration. I think its going to be very helpful to work on : One Mind governs all. Even a hopeless situation changed when there was a change in thought, allowing it to blend with the Divine Mind.
    Yes of course Divine Mind is the only Mind, so peace and harmony, good will and friendship has to prevail.
    Thanks ever so much for this lovely inspiration.

  13. Great, Evan! As usual, well said and with great humility. It is especially helpful every day while thinking/praying for our world events too. Only One Mind. I also appreciated that you kept at it
    for over a year. WOW, that is love in action. Gives me a boost to keep at it – loving so much. Had to laugh at your example of the planets…men are from mars and women are from venus…caput. Thank you so much for your wonderful insights and grace.

  14. I had experienced a similar incident, where I became the point of concern. I felt other members seem to have sided with the thoughts concerning my membership. I left the church and found a new direction by listening to the Mother Church Services via the Internet.

    I find this more than meets my needs. Sometimes in small churches, one cannot deal with personalities and thoughts and must arise with the purpose of the healing effect of the services.

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