WE can be grateful for the modest progress made so far in bringing basic civil rights to humanity; but there is also much frustration over the slow pace of reform and over social problems still evident in today's society.
American civil rights workers often found fellowship and support in singing together. One famous song of this era is titled "We Shall Overcome. The song stood for the heartfelt hope and faith that the prejudice, bigotry, inequality, and injustice long directed toward black Americans would be overcome through the prayers and peaceful protests of the civil rights movement. In the face of numerous social ills to be overcome, some may wonder whether the promise of this song will ever be fulfilled.
Indeed it must. The Bible supports people's spiritual capacity to triumph over evil. First John states: "Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. And Christ Jesus himself said, as John's Gospel records, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
What does it mean to overcome the world? It surely doesn't mean literally to conquer every country in military victory. Jesus didn't do that. What he did do was not only to heal sickness and sin but actually to rise above hatred and death following his crucifixion and resurrection.
Granted, the world's view is that we are victimized, sinful mortals living in an unjust, material universe. But Jesus overcame the world and its claims about man in a way that cannot be denied. He revealed Christ, the true idea of God, by demonstrating the allness of Spirit, God, and the true, spiritual nature of man, who is created in God's likeness. Christ takes no note of color, creed, age, race, or sex. Rather, Christ, the divine Truth of being, reveals that each one is in reality the spiritual c hild of God. Christ reveals that the way to overcome worldly evils is to realize the present perfection of man in God's image. Divine Love, God, not fear or animosity, governs man; therefore, man truly lives in harmony, not in conflict.
In Miscellaneous Writings the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: "Self-ignorance, self-will, self-righteousness, lust, covetousness, envy, revenge, are foes to grace, peace, and progress; they must be met manfully and overcome, or they will uproot all happiness. Be of good cheer; the warfare with one's self is grand; it gives one plenty of employment, and the divine Principle worketh with you,--and obedience crowns persistent effort with everlasting victory.
Our primary battle is overcoming the self-centered, worldly beliefs and habits that are opposed to Christliness. It is a "warfare with one's self and takes place within individual human consciousness. As we live lives of unselfed love, righteousness, and purity, we will be expressing our true, spiritual selfhood. This will increasingly free us--individually and collectively--from the fears and destructive habits enslaving society. We'll also discover greater love and respect for all people, because we'll see that each one is truly the good man of God's creating.
Obviously, this battle is extremely challenging, but we're not alone in this struggle; we're supported by God, the divine Principle of all reality. And we can rejoice in realizing that the victory is actually already won. God's creation is perfect now, and the Christ is waking us up to this truth. As we acknowledge man's true nature and persist in overcoming wordliness within our own thoughts and lives, we are making a substantial contribution to the healing of social ills by bringing to light the tru e harmony of man.