World crime: casting out the beam

International crime has infected the world of archaeology. Selfish looting o irreplaceable antiquities is wasting a number of famous digs. In the Caribbean, many lovely island states are being engulfed by the multimillion-dollar illegal drug traffic passing through them heading northward -- with havoc and murder in the wake. These are just two of many recent jarring news items that show the breadth of worldwide criminal activity.

World crime is everyone's problem; to turn from it in apathy is to acquiesce in the theft of our own treasured peace of mind. Is there anything meaningful that the individual can do to help reverse this insidious activity? Fervent prayer is humanity's most powerful weapon against all wrongdoing. Regular, consecrated, discerning affirmations of God's supreme control over man, and the living of our prayer in the practice of authentic Christianity, are weapons each person has at hand to check crime.

All crime is sin because it is a lie about God and the man He created.Man is God's own pure image, expressing divine tenderness and authority. He is not a material misfit. We don't have to unwittingly become apart of the very problem we wish to have solved by accepting wickedness as something God made man capable of.

Effective prayer sees the innocency of all the Father's children, including ourselves. In fact, a good place to start in praying to heal world crime is, paradoxically, with ourselves. In the words of Christ Jesus, "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in they brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? . . . Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of they brother's eye." n1

n1 Matthew 7:3,5.

Since criminality is an issue involving loss of integrity, it is crucial to rebuke any dishonest tendencies in our own thought, no matter how minor. Realizing that not temptation but giving in to temptation is the sin, we can faithfully pledge to practice strict honesty in thought and deed -- and then live each day accordingly. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, "Our own vision must be clear to open the eyes of others, else the blind will lead the blind and both shall fall." n2

n2 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 211.

Practising integrity and identifying others with it aren't difficult when we recognize integrity as a quality of God. And because man as God made him is not a mortal but a perfect, spiritual idea of Mind, or God, he includes no criminal tendencies. But this eternal truth must be demonstrated.

Our brothers and sisters who are enmeshed in criminal acts are themselves victims. Our prayers must be motivated by pure compassion if we are to help lift the burden of suffering. How effective is such prayer? The teachings of Christian Science have for over 100 years shown that through prayer sin and disease are healed. Based on the truths of God and man, such prayer invokes Love's healing law.States Mrs. Eddy: "God's law reaches and destroys evil by virtue of the allness of god." n3

n3 No and Yes,m p. 30.

hroughout the Bible there flows a river of spiritual healing. From the patriarchs to Christ Jesus, a common characteristic of the healers is humility. Are we humble enough to reach out to God on behalf of humanity in this time of extreme need? DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord . . . saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. . . . Evil shall slay the wicked. Psalms 18, 21

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