Defusing the bomb

Whether or not we are dedicated to world disarmament, we would all agree that there are explosive elements in human nature that need to be defused before we can ever hope to have universal peace. Hate, prejudice, cruelty, revenge, and greed have often triggered destructive wars that have affected families and nations. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, declares, ''The despotic tendencies, inherent in mortal mind and always germinating in new forms of tyranny, must be rooted out through the action of the divine Mind.'' n1

n1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 225.

Anger, cruelty, injustice, oppression, and the like are no part of God, the one Mind, and therefore no part of man, God's image. Peace, love, and justice characterize our genuine being. ''Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God,'' n2 declared the Master, Christ Jesus. Those who consciously promote harmony bear true witness to God's goodness and allness and to man's actual nature as the very likeness of Deity.

n2 Matthew 5:9.

But isn't it normal, healthy even, to ''let off steam'' by exploding sometimes, instead of keeping anger and frustration all bottled up inside? Mrs. Eddy observes: ''The pent-up elements of mortal mind need no terrible detonation to free them. Envy, rivalry, hate need no temporary indulgence that they be destroyed through suffering; they should be stifled from lack of air and freedom.'' n3

n3 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 356.

Today, just as in the time of the Master, some individuals find it difficult to avoid getting involved in a quarrel. In order to make a real contribution to world harmony, however, one needs to follow the advice of the Scriptures: ''Seek peace, and pursue it.'' n4 If we truly wish to follow the example of the Master, we need to go out of our way to put out fires rather than start them. And our efforts will be so much more successful as we strive to view others, as well as ourselves, from a spiritual standpoint; as we strive to realize that despite appearances, everyone's true - and only - selfhood is the expression of God's nature, the manifestation of Love.

n4 Psalms 34:14.

''But you should have heard the awful things he called me!'' said one who was defending his position of righteous indignation. ''Did he call you the son of God?'' a questioner asked gently. ''Hardly!'' was the reply. ''Everything but that!'' His friend smiled. ''Then, why react? He obviously wasn't addressing you!''

Most of us could profit from heeding the wisdom of this proverb: ''The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.'' n5 To refuse to react out of anger is in one's own best interests, for anger most harms the one who indulges in it. And a disturbed thought is hardly conducive to a peaceful body. In order to bring ourselves under God's law of harmony, we need to endeavor to consciously live that harmony. The Psalmist affirmed, ''Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.'' n6

n5 Proverbs 19:11.

n6 Psalms 119:165.

Like Jesus, the great Way-shower, we can refuse to react or retaliate when hurts or provocations threaten to spark confrontations. When the little fires of anger, reaction, and retribution are put out in individuals, they can no longer spread and perhaps threaten destruction on a wider scale. We will have defused the bombs in our own thinking and contributed to peace for the world. DALIY BIBLE VERSE Put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts. Colossians 3:14, 15

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