I WAS in the lobby of my apartment building when the doorman, listening to some sad news a tenant was telling him, simply shrugged and said, ``It happens.'' It seemed to me like a callous reaction. Yet this passive, resigned attitude in the face of evil is not uncommon today. It is as if many feel so helpless that they accept unhappy events as inevitable and then try to stop thinking about them.
This is not, of course, what Christ Jesus did. He faced evil and was active in overcoming it through God's direction and grace.
Yet even those who do believe in God are sometimes passive when confronted by evil.
Why should this be so? Well, maybe it doesn't have to be, and we can do something different now. God is good and He is always present. As we begin to understand this and trust that man is His genuine offspring, we'll come to see that there is a power close at hand with which to face the threats of evil. We can turn to God with confidence that He destroys evil's boastful claims to omnipotence. We can surely pray, affirming God's presence and almightiness, and we can expect to see our prayers result in more harmonious conditions for ourselves and for the world.
Man, the loved child of God, Spirit, is created in His likeness and is spiritual. This is our genuine identity; it is what gives us the capacity to resist evil. Armed with the understanding that God is wholly good and the only lasting power, we cease to find evil quite so formidable because we begin to see its fundamental unreality. And as we realize that God is ever-present Love, we can have the victory over evil in our lives. Our prayer affirms God's power and willingness to heal; prayer is never in vain.
As I've read the Bible, I've come to see more clearly that Jesus' fearlessness in the face of all forms of evil came from his conviction that evil is without divine support. Referring to the devil -- the belief in evil -- Jesus said, ``He is a liar, and the father of it.''1 And his works illustrate so clearly the lying pretensions of evil and the all-power of God, who is Love: he fed multitudes with what seemed at first a ridiculously inadequate amount of food; he healed the sick, cast out sin, and even proved death to be powerless; in short, he was able to triumph over evil.
In proportion to our own spiritual understanding and faith in God, good, we too can triumph over evil. And we can start now to be active in our opposition to every form of evil. We don't need to sink back passively in dismay when we hear of world problems. Instead of saying: ``What can I do? I'm only one person up against all this evil!'' we can turn to God's power to help us resist evil in all its aspects. If we're willing to stand against evil, ways can open up for all of us to face and overcome it with God's help. We'll take an active role in our own homes and communities and begin to find solutions to human needs. And every effort we make to stand up to evil counts.
Affirming the Bible's message, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, urges, ``Resist evil -- error of every sort -- and it will flee from you.''2 There is no evil, no sickness, sin, lack, inharmony, injustice, that we can't resist when we understand God's power to heal.
1John 8:44. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 406.
You can find more articles about spiritual healing in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.