When Good People Happen to Bad Things

YOU are a good person. Are you surprised to hear such a statement? I hope not. The truth is, we are all created by the one God, good, and He has created us good like Himself. In her explanation of Christian Science, its Discoverer, Mary Baker Eddy, names God as ``Father-Mother'' of man. This means all of us--men, women, children, you and your parents--have God as our heavenly Father-Mother.

This means that your goodness is not just a decoration or window dressing for you. Because God gives it to you, it is the root and strength of your being. Because you reflect it from God, good is like a fountain of action bubbling forth from you each day. God made you to be His goodness in action.

This doesn't mean you'll never see anything bad. But when you know where your goodness and your strength come from, you'll trust God's power to help you overcome whatever badness you have to face. Christ Jesus faced all the evil there is to face, and he won out. He showed us that because God is good, our own goodness, which we reflect from God, is a powerful shield against evil. We don't look for trouble, of course. But neither do we have to hide from it. We can be active in destroying it. Jesus told his disciples, Luke's Gospel records, ``I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you'' (10:18, 19).

I know of a young teen who proved how easily the strength of goodness can deflate all the bluster of evil. This boy was quiet and not particularly athletic. Though he kept largely to himself, for some strange reason, the eighth-grade bully chose to pick on him. When spring came and the weather improved enough that everyone could go outside after lunch, this bully harassed my friend daily, trying to provoke a fight.

But my friend wasn't the wimp that the bully imagined. He knew how to pray. As he prayed, he remembered Jesus' words ``Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free'' (John 8:32). Finally one day, the bully shoved my friend into a circle of kids, goading him toward a fight. The circle of kids jeered and laughed and clapped. When the crowd quieted down, my friend looked in a kindly way at the bully and said with piercing accuracy: ``If I were as big as you, you would not want to fight. It's only because I am small.'' The truth supporting my friend's words was startlingly effective. The bully dropped his threat, walked away, and never taunted this boy again.

Good is never a wimp! Why? Because God is good. No, God is not just a good thought or a good idea far off somewhere. He is good itself. Good is because God is God. And God could not create anything in a way that is opposite to Himself. So, the basic nature of God as good is found in all of his creation. That includes you and me. If a person acts in a bad way, he or she is really being fooled! He is missing the goodness in his own nature that comes in each of God's children.

God's goodness can really be a strong muscle in our thought, too. The Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy, tells us as much. In a book called The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, she urges: ``Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited'' (p. 210).

This passage tells us about goodness and good thoughts based on God's loving presence right with us. His presence is what gives our goodness the power to overcome--to actually destroy --evil. Good things happen when good people side with God.

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