Are You Relishing Evil or Good?
A FRIEND of mine, who was facing a complex personal difficulty, was struck by the interest her friends showed in the problem's detail and developments. When things took a turn for the better, she was surprised by the halfhearted response. It was almost as if her friends were disappointed at being deprived of the opportunity to discuss the difficulty.Sometimes it seems as though we're more interested in evil than in good. But shouldn't we be careful that evil doesn't become a fascinating preoccupation? Certainly we can't ignore evil if we're to be free from it. Prayer in Christian Science, for instance, specifically confronts the fear, sin, or pain that seems attached to us or another and uproots it as a weed that has no purpose in the beautiful landscape of God's creation. The specific evil is understood as contrary to God's loving government of man . The Bible, in Jeremiah, presents God as saying to man, "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Just as a landscaper would not plant weeds in a client's yard, so God, who is unfailing Love, does not place evil in His creation. God creates man to express perfect goodness and beauty. But has God's design been reworked? Has God left man open to the blowing seeds of sin, contagious disease, and sadness? The answer to these questions is "no because the true nature of God's creation is totally spiritual, expressing His nature as pure Spirit. Our real being, then, isn't subject to anything detrimental. It includes only good. But we need a higher, spiritual perception of God and man in order to begin gaining dominion over evil. Through studying Christ Jesus' ministry we come to see that sin and disease are illegitimate and that they can be overcome through an understanding of God's total goodness. Clearly, Jesus wasn't oblivious to the sinfulness and suffering around him. But it's evident from his healing works that he understood God to be good. Can't we strive to follow the Master by learning to trust the sovereignty of God's goodness? With honest courage we can pray for solutions instead of becoming mired in repetition of the trouble. Through prayer we can glimpse more frequently that God is blessing His offspring with uninvadable harmony. We can refuse to rehearse or inadvertently cherish evil and instead meet it as an illegitimate intruder on the goodness of God and His creation. We can strive to discern more consistently that since God is perfect good and allows no assistant creators, evil has no valid creator. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, makes this profound statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "God is not the creator of an evil mind. She adds, "Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless; nor are the so-called laws of matter primary, and the law of Spirit secondary. God hasn't formed man to be insatiably curious about the apparent workings of evil. God hasn't made us to relish evil. Rather, infinite Love has fashioned man to know and love good. It's natural, then, to be devoted to God, to give steady attention to His unflagging harmony. The more we live our God-established identity, the more we prove our dominion over evil. As we accept, in prayer, the excellence of God's creation, we begin to feel the depth, substantiality, and allness of good. And we find this evidenced in progress and healing. These are far from boring!