WHAT'S our response to the news? Irritation? Frustration? Depression? When a news item is baited with sensationalism, our better judgment can identify its sensational element and reject it. But what of the more common occurrence -- when the topic is legitimate, the report objective, and it's still distressing? Unless we're alert, such reports might give us the ``news blues'' and make us wish we hadn't picked up the newspaper or turned on the television in the first place.
The media are not always at fault here. They have a responsibility to report the facts.
So what do we do? Close our eyes and ears to news coverage altogether? We can't simply brush aside tragic and threatening events when they challenge our concepts of good. Those events point up moral ills in society that need correcting. We need to delve deeper than a superficial acceptance of reported events -- delve deeper into the spiritual reality of good that characterizes creation.
In nearly every instance of emotional reaction to the news we're likely to find a pent-up belief that good is just too weak to destroy evil. This is precisely the reverse of what wisdom has taught us through the ages. In fact, the Bible is an inspiring record of good's supremacy over evil.
As long as we approach society's ills with a belief that evil is ultimately more powerful than good, the hope that inspires solutions to those problems is undermined and a sound sense of peace is less attainable.
As we seek a more spiritual view of God's creation, we find that the pure substance of good, the very nature of God, is as constant, permanent, and indestructible as God is. Discord and sin are the consequences of an ignorance of Him. We're all capable of experiencing much more of eternal good than we've awakened to thus far. Understanding God's immortal goodness even amid the turmoils of mortality, as Christ Jesus did, reveals to us the power that wipes out evil motives, acts, and mishaps.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes: ``There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God. The humble Nazarene overthrew the supposition that sin, sickness, and death have power. He proved them powerless.''1
The daily harmonious effect of good is so natural that we often aren't as conscious of it as we are of some jarring disturbance. In fact, there may be so much good going on that it just wouldn't seem like news to report the good at all.
For instance, don't we hear rumors of conflict or pending conflict more than we do of peaceful relations? A balanced perspective tells us that we shouldn't infer that conflict is more prevalent than peace. More to the point, greater peace and progress are pending when the reported conflict is confronted and resolved. And resolving conflict can be accomplished as we persistently see and acknowledge the omnipotence of good and the powerlessness of evil, regardless of the tenacious skepticism of mortal sense that may assert otherwise.
The faithful often speak of the gospel of Scripture as the ``good news'' to mankind. But at no time does the Bible offer this good news -- news of divine good -- as an opiate to escape our woes. On the contrary, it teaches and illustrates the continuity and power of God's goodness with such intelligent, sobering reality that only the determined cynic would miss its hard-hitting impact on the tough issues of today.
St. Paul, whose conversion proved the futility of evil's claim to power, counsels us, ``Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.''2
There's enough inspiration in the good news of the Bible to lift us out of despondent reaction to harsh elements in the news. With this inspiration and the spiritual truths revealed in Christian Science, we can prayerfully respond to the underlying needs the news media are alerting us to. And we can begin meeting those needs with the practical conviction, courage, and strength they call for.
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 228. 2Romans 12:21. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Whatsoever things are of good report...think on these things. Philippians 4:8