A friend of mine was driving on a rainy day last fall. As she braked at a traffic light, her car slowly skidded on wet leaves and gently but noticeably bumped into the car ahead of her.
No one was injured. There was no evidence of damage to either vehicle, and so both drivers got back in their cars and drove off. All was well. And my friend drove even more carefully. She thanked God that everyone had been safe.
I've had other friends who have had similar experiences. But then a week or so after, they've received letters saying they were being sued for severe back or neck injuries. There were good reasons for suspecting that the claims were fraudulent. Still, there was a lot of fear and worry until the insurance companies were able to settle the cases.
What help can prayer be when we are faced with a "he said/she said" situation? A situation where it is simply your word against another's?
Honesty has a ring of truth to it. While some people may scoff at the idealism of such an idea, the fact is that honesty is a spiritual quality - a quality of God. If we recognize this, we'll discover there is a power behind honesty. A divine force that works to expose fraud and to establish truth. There is a verse in the Bible that says, "The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment" (Prov. 12:19).
Understanding this helps free us from fear. It removes a sense of vulnerability by helping us see that there are divine resources at hand that will help us and will help others discover the value and blessings of truth and truth-telling.
In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the Monitor's founder, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote: "Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help" (pg. 453). Have you ever met anyone who could afford to forfeit God's help? Sometimes evil and dishonesty may seem to be succeeding. But they cannot endure. They have no foundation. They are built on the sand. They are perpetually subject to exposure.
Honesty is believable because it includes the substance of Truth, a name for God. It is convincing because it has the ring of Truth. It is substantial because it is true. Sometimes in a court case or arbitration hearing, people are encouraged to shade the truth a bit to make their case more winning. But any deviation from the truth weakens one's case. It's always subject to exposure, and once you lose your integrity, it takes hard work to regain it.
What would cause someone to shade the truth? Nothing but fear. Fear that comes from thinking that our life or future or financial well-being is in the hands of a dishonest person, or a jury, or a judge. Believing such things is a source of anxiety.
Jesus helped free people from this troubling fear. In all his works, he illustrated the fact that our life is in the hands of God. But the God Jesus revealed was not wrathful or undependable. Jesus brought to light the pure goodness of God. Because of his clear understanding of this, multitudes were fed, sinners were reformed and regenerated, the crippled were healed.
Readers of the Bible might have run across this verse: "The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us" (Isa. 33:22). This describes a spiritual fact that was illustrated throughout the life of Jesus.
So, too, is your life under the jurisdiction of God, of good. If God is omnipotent - and He is! - then no other force exists, no other influence can operate, for God is in control. When we bring this spiritual fact into thought, it destroys the belief that our life is in jeopardy. It tells us that we are safe in God's presence. That we are secure under His jurisdiction.
In this way, Truth frees us from fear and the belief that we might do better if we ourselves resorted to dishonesty. "Truth is God's remedy for error of every kind, and Truth destroys only what is untrue" (Science and Health, pgs. 142-143). The power of divine Truth is fully available to us today. It brings justice. It is a rock that we can build our lives on.
You can find other articles like this one in a monthly magazine called the Christian Science Sentinel.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society