Counteracting Criminality

FROM time to time we hear news reports of incredible damage done by someone in a position of power. How can one person do so much harm to so many? Is there no divine justice? Where is God while people are suffering at the hands of tyrants? God is never absent. He is eternally God -- the one supreme, omnipresent power, who is totally good and who causes only good. But humanity needs more fully to understand God's absolute supremacy and the part each of us can play in bringing that fact to light. Then we'll make greater progress in neutralizing the supposed forces of evil.

Each of us has a vital role in freeing mankind -- including ourselves -- from despotic influences. Of course, evil would argue that there's little anyone can do about criminal actions. But we're not helpless. We have access to the power of God, not only through prayer, which is essential, but through our daily reflection of the divine nature.

Every quality of God that we live is a powerful force for good. And because man as God's spiritual image is the very expression of God, in our true selfhood we express the spiritual strength that comes from unopposable Spirit. When we see our purpose in terms of reflecting God's nature in our own distinct way, we gain a new perspective on our ability to do good. True purity of thought and life reflects divine power; it's a tangible influence for good in the world.

The story in Ecclesiastes of the poor wise man who saved a town from the attack of a great king points clearly to the power of God-derived qualities. The writer concluded, ``Wisdom is better than strength.'' And then he observed: ``The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war.'' The Preacher's words make the challenge plain. But they also illustrate the good that even one God-inspired individual can accomplish.

It may seem naive to talk about God's power when evil seems to be running rampant in so many forms. Yet in the final analysis the materialistic thinking that underlies evil is counteracted and destroyed by the pure, spiritualized thinking that increasingly reflects divine power. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, ``To live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science.'' And she says in Pulpit and Press: ``A dewdrop reflects the sun. Each of Christ's little ones reflects the infinite One, and therefore is the seer's declaration true, that `one on God's side is a majority.' ''

Clearly, we need not only to express more of the divine nature but to pray specifically to refute the despotic influences that plague mankind. Prayer that recognizes true creation as spiritual, as the outcome of Spirit, God -- who is the only genuine power -- can help shed light on solutions that sensuous, worldly thinking would hide. Christ Jesus illustrated the power of prayer for all of us, and in striving to follow his example, however modestly, we will help in a significant way.

Though evil may temporarily appear to take center stage, it is ultimately powerless. We can work behind the scenes to prove this by glorifying God in our prayers and through the quality of our lives.

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