Preventing evil

IT is wise to take ordinary safety precautions and to use common sense in our dealings with the world--but we don't need to yield to the fears that would keep us in a constant state of apprehension. Fear-based living leads one to stay in at night (for fear of being attacked); to avoid certain foods (for fear of indi-gestion); to give up favorite sports (for fear of a disabling accident); to make no friends (for fear they might hurt or disappoint). Deeper trust in God can correct any tendency, slight or excessive, to fall prey to such ``preventive living.'' Some may feel they can't trust God. Yet, when you stop to think about it, we cannot avoid trusting something to some extent if we are going to live at all. We must trust simply to walk down the street every morning! So why not trust God, the creator and maintainer of all, and live more fully? When we begin to understand God as completely good--a God of love, who cares for all His children--we find it natural to trust Him. When we learn to see Him as Spirit, filling all space, we feel His nearness. And when we accept God as Principle, we know more clearly what it means to say, ``All things work together for good to them that love God.'' 1 But what about all this evil mankind seeks to prevent? Certainly we can't ignore it. We need to face it and see it for what it is. Christian Science teaches that evil is a mistaken sense of things, a view of God's universe as though seen ``through a glass, darkly.'' 2 Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, often refers to the various types of evil as ``error,'' and she calls evil a ``suppositional opposite'' of God. She writes, ``God, good, being ever present, it follows in divine logic that evil, the suppositional opposite of good, is never present.'' 3 As I have better understood that evil is no part of God's creation, but is error, a mistaken sense of reality--I have been helped to overcome a strong tendency to run away from problems. I would not claim that I have overcome all fear, of course, but I have learned to face many fears and conquer them to an extent I would not have believed possible at one time. Christian Science has given me a growing comprehension of my true self hood as God's child--fearless, safe in His care. Though much remains to be done before I can say I have fully demonstrated my complete freedom as God's spiritual image and likeness, I find that I am less and less tempted by the ``preventive living'' which looked to be developing as the pattern for my life. And little by little I am demonstrating more of my innate freedom as a child of God, cared for and protected by Him. Fearful attitudes tend to bring discordant conditions into our experience, but instead of adding to our fear by taking more and more materially ``preventive'' measures, we can put our trust in God, in divine Love, and be safe. We are safe because, despite appearances, evil has no genuine reality, no power--God is the only power. And this assurance of God's presence and power helps to destroy the supposition of anything unlike Him and bring healing. ``Nothing,'' writes Mrs. Eddy, ``but the power of Truth

can prevent the fear of error, and prove man's dominion over error.'' 4 How wonderful that we do not need to search frantically for human ways to prevent every possible evil! Rather the need is to trust in God, good, and understand that we are already safe in His all-encompassing Love. 1 Romans 8:28. 2 I Corinthians 13:12. 3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 72. 4 Ibid., p. 380. 30{et

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