Sorting out the news
WHEN today's news presents a daily selection of disaster, and suggests to us that this is what is important in the world, it is good to remember that the meaning of gospel is ``good news'' and that such news is available to all who observe events through eyes enlightened by the teachings of Christ Jesus. This is not by any means to suggest that we ignore the world's troubles, that we turn away from the suffering that must be confronted and healed. But it does mean, for one thing, that we should rejoice in the good. Writing to the Philippians, Paul instructed, ``Brethren, 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 there be any praise, think on these things.''1
Thinking on things of good report, we become much more aware of the presence of God, the source of goodness, in our own experience and in the world as a whole. Being more conscious of Him, we appeal to His power to better our experience, and we try harder to live the good that we know to be in accord with the divine nature.
Recognizing that problems need to be faced head-on and met, we also need to see that our method of meeting them is deeply affected by whether we think solutions are possible and by what we think about the nature of reality.
Inducing fear through the notion that one's efforts will probably be met by failure because that's the way things are, is hardly a way to encourage anyone to try hard to overcome a difficulty. On the other hand, turning to the Biblical concept of man, we find not only encouragement but a good report about his nature. For instance, the Psalmist says, referring to God's creation of man: ``Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.''2
So the true nature of man includes dominion, not victimization. As the book of Genesis makes clear, man is the image of God,3 expressing all that's included in the divine nature. And because God is Spirit, man's actual being must be spiritual, not limited, vulnerable physicality. Clearly, the very opposite seems to be reality, and the truth of being may seem at first to be an abstraction with little relevance to our own or the world's often grim reports. But the power of God, of Truth itself, is not an abstraction, nor is the harmony of what He has created. To discern this even in the face of alarming evidence to the contrary is to help forward healing.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``Truth is God's remedy for error of every kind, and Truth destroys only what is untrue. Hence the fact that, to-day, as yesterday, Christ casts out evils and heals the sick.''4
When faced with the report that the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue was dead, Christ Jesus said, ``Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.''5 Then he shut out those who derided him, and he healed the girl.
While we may not feel we can begin to approach such works ourselves, they offer us great inspiration for the overcoming of troubles -- troubles that appear to be reports of apparently immovable truth but are contrary to the outpouring of goodness from divine Love.
Mrs. Eddy writes, ``What is termed material sense can report only a mortal temporary sense of things, whereas spiritual sense can bear witness only to Truth.'' And further on she says, ``Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality.''6
Here we have a key to sorting out the news. If the report does not agree with divine Love, then we need to set about through consecrated prayer to prove it illegitimate, as an account of the moment's appearances but not of the God-established reality. Far from ignoring problems, this standpoint gives us the understanding that brings to light solutions. It turns us to rely on divine Love, from which all genuine solutions come. It encourages us to persist in our efforts to bring our experience -- and in a small degree the world's -- into agreement with God's consistently good news about man's nature and possibilities.
1Philippians 4:8. 2Psalms 8:5, 6. 3See Genesis 1:27. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 142-143. 5Mark 5:39. 6Science and Health, p. 298. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:31