THE news, radio and television talk shows, even what we ourselves see around us--these often impress us with a discouraging view of everything. Not infrequently we're treated to a barrage of images of misfortune or perverse behavior that would have us believe this is what life is all about.
To be sure there are challenges--major ones--and it often seems that sin is running rampant. But there's another side to the story. We see it expressed in individuals' unselfish efforts to help those in need. We see it in a co-worker's unwavering honesty and integrity. We see it reflected in the creativity, beauty, sensitivity, insightfulness, of a great work of art that touches and teaches us. We see it whenever something of God's nature as pure Love, as limitless good, shines through in our experience.
Ultimately, whatever comes from the one God is what is authentic and what lasts. Anything that expresses the opposite of God's nature can't sustain itself, regardless of how prevalent it may seem at the moment.
It does appear as though good and evil are in a battle and that evil often comes out on top. But because God is supreme, infinite good, the only genuine cause and creator, as the Bible teaches, misfortune or sordidness can't be a true picture of life. It doesn't represent what God has actually created. And it can't last.
This is why we're not naive or unrealistic to think about, and lend our support to, what's pure and good. To do so is actively to acknowledge the supremacy of God and therefore to see more of His goodness expressed in our lives and in the world around us. St. Paul counseled the Philippians, "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if the re be any praise, think on these things. To think in this way isn't simply to overlook what's wrong. And it's not to pretend humanity's struggles don't exist. Rather it's to help shine the light of God's goodness and wisdom on human troubles so that solutions will be more readily apparent. Christ Jesus instructed his followers to let their light shine for the glorification of God.
If the plea to "face reality is taken just to mean wallowing in the sordid details of human lives, then we're not facing reality in the truest sense, and we can't be of much help in lifting mankind out of sin. But if we see reality as the way God has actually made man--in His image--we can provide practical assistance. We can help purify the mental atmosphere through a higher, spiritual concept, make at least some contribution in bringing to light what's good and enduring, and exposing the fraudulence of
From the Bible we conclude that God, Spirit, is our only true source, our only genuine Life, and that our real being is His unfallen spiritual likeness. This is the way things really are. And a growing perception of this fact, through prayer and through the pure quality of our lives, begins to dispel the mesmeric image of man as a hopeless sinner--for us and for humanity.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes in her Message to The Mother Church for 1902: "Earth's actors change earth's scenes; and the curtain of human life should be lifted on reality, on that which outweighs time; on duty done and life perfected, wherein joy is real and fadeless.
The point of view that sees only hopelessness may seem sometimes to be the authority on the actual state of things. But all along the reality of God's spiritual creation and of His care for each of His offspring is what's really going on. It's this eternal reality that we can increasingly come to discern and prove.