Evil Has No Identity
DON'T we sometimes feel that if only a certain person were removed from our lives--or from the world scene--all would be harmony? But, in fact, aggression and domination aren't confined to any single person or national figure. These evils appear to crop up continually to cause national and world unease. Such has been the case from early Bible days and before, right up to the present time.
The book of Job, for example, describes the nature of error this way: ``Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." This description, giving as it does a picture of impudent, busy evil, helps to put a baffling problem into more understandable terms. We know that the concep t of a personal devil with leering face and horns has long been abandoned, but evil certainly does seem rampant, always appearing to find expression in persons through unkindness, cruelty, crime, and so on.
In the Bible the prophet Habakkuk says of God, ``Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." This cannot mean that we should shut our eyes or turn our heads away from wrong. In fulfilling our individual role in the world, we cannot ignore problems. But we do need to look more deeply into the one great cause that we call God so that practical solutions may be found. If God could be evil, wicked, or sinful, then the whole of creation would fall apart.
God, however, is wholly good, and His creation is good. God, good, can no more see evil than light can recognize darkness. Light banishes darkness. Our premise, then, must be that because God is good and knows only good, evil has no power. And as we understand more of the absolute goodness of God, we reflect His power to overcome any suggestion of evil. We begin to see that perfect, omnipotent God creates perfect man altogether good.
Man is not a material, struggling, lonely entity. In truth, man is a spiritual idea--invulnerable, ageless, at one with God, complete and cared for. We are able to turn to these spiritual facts at any moment, accept them, make them our own, and prove them in daily life. When understood, they bring healthful and abundant living.
Our heavenly Father, perfect and eternal, could never be anything other than good. This unique, ever-loving cause creates man in His image--spiritual and complete--and sees His creation as perfect, indestructible, joyful, fulfilled.
Evil could never be created by omnipotent God. God's creation is perfect, eternal, sinless. God, infinite Love, could never envisage, behold, or create a sinner. While insisting on evil as unreal, God's, Love's, demands are for each one to express God's qualities--and our expression of God is our strength to defeat the claims of sickness or evil that would try to dominate.
Christ Jesus, our Way-shower, was altogether compassionate, but he also sternly rebuked evil. We follow his example when we separate evil from person and recognize that man is truly the perfect child of an ever-loving Father.
God's creation--man--is never condemned. Evil is never a person. But this does not suggest that an individual serving sin is exonerated. Sin, evil intentions, greed, self-seeking, and dishonesty bring guilt, demoralization, and wretchedness in their wake. Sin inherits corruption and must be forsaken before man's true, spiritual identity can be demonstrated. Honest efforts to seek God's guidance, however, and sincere efforts to obey Him are rewarding, satisfying, and health-giving; they result in healing for oneself and, in some degree, healing for the world.
Inharmony is evil seeking to personify itself, to gain a foothold in human consciousness, to get an identity and a name. But evil has--and can have--no identity. We can resist the temptations to doubt God's love for us. Man--you and I--can never, not even for a single moment, be separated from the Father, God. Man is the spiritual idea of God, held forever in perfect harmony, and nothing can dupe us into believing that we are cut off from His loving care for His creation.
Personified evil seems particularly subtle when it tempts in unexpected ways, cropping up as unkindness or discord among family members or dear friends, to disturb and shock. Evil is never a person, and to recognize speedily that discord is a temptation to believe that another power can challenge omnipotent God may not be easy--but it can be done.
I had been experiencing a constant discharge from my ear for over a year. Although I had been praying to understand that I am the perfect, spiritual idea of God, there seemed to be little progress toward healing. But then a Christian Science Sentinel article gave me fresh insight; I saw quite clearly that evil is never a person. This forward step in my spiritual understanding resulted in a quick healing of my ear.
I have since then realized with great joy just how far-reaching the healing was; longstanding difficulties with periodic ear blockage, deafness, and swollen glands--which had cropped up spasmodically over several years--have completely vanished.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``The substance, Life, intelligence, Truth, and Love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by His creation; and when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere."