Monday, August 13, 2007

The strongest weapon in the battle against evil

First, don't miss the great comments about marriage in response to Friday's entry Is it real, or is it lust? Here are some highlights:

Dennis: It is interesting that the more I am resolved to keep my promise to love my wife, the more attractive she becomes.

Elizabeth (who I know as Betsy): …Certainly doesn't mean my heart doesn't typically skip a beat when I look at my husband sometimes, greet him at the door when he returns from work, hold his hand as we walk along. But it is a quiet contentment, not lusty or hot and heavy. Frankly, I think that would get tiring and dull. But joy and peace, ah! that is wonderful, and it gets you through those bumpy times. [Note: loved this, all the more since I was a bridesmaid at her wedding 22 years ago.]

Emily: …the right mate should have the same qualities as a good road trip partner: Doesn't annoy you too much, doesn't smell too weird, and seems to be heading in roughly the same direction that you're going.


The weekend reading I did had some gems I'd like to share today. The section of my class notes I was covering had to do with overcoming sin. (I added the bolding for emphasis; all the passages are from Mary Baker Eddy's writings.)

It is safe not to teach prematurely the infant thought in Christian Science — just breathing new Life and Love — all the claims and modes of evil; therefore it is best to leave the righteous unfolding of error (as a general rule) alone, and to the special care of the unerring modes of divine wisdom. This uncovering and punishing of sin must, will come, at some date, to the rescue of humanity. Miscellaneous Writings

We should endeavor to be long-suffering, faithful, and charitable with all. To this small effort let us add one more privilege — namely, silence whenever it can substitute censure. Avoid voicing error; but utter the truth of God and the beauty of holiness, the joy of Love and "the peace of God, that passeth all understanding," recommending to all men fellowship in the bonds of Christ. Advise students to rebuke each other always in love, as I have rebuked them. Having discharged this duty, counsel each other to work out his own salvation, without fear or doubt, knowing that God will make the wrath of man to praise Him, and that the remainder thereof He will restrain. No and Yes

The real Christian Scientist is constantly accentuating harmony in word and deed, mentally and orally, perpetually repeating this diapason of heaven: "Good is my God, and my God is good. Love is my God, and my God is Love." Miscellaneous Writings

There's a good bit of material in Christian Science literature about rebuking sin. What the above passages mean to me is: this does not include verbal rebuking of a person. Rebuking sin happens in thought, in prayer, by addressing error mentally. There's seldom a need to articulate the rebuke verbally to the person who seems to be needing to work it out—in fact, chastisement often serves to make a person intransigent in sin. (I speak from experience, that's what happened whenever someone chastised me!) Pointing out a person's faults or sins is almost a sure-fire way to make the sin last longer.

Instead, have absolute faith that the person is *not* sinful, and know this in thought with full understanding of their divine nature. Radiate this confidence in their spotless being whenever you interact with or think about them. Voice only good when you talk to them, express your belief in their goodness. I've seen what happens when a mentor switches from well-intentioned chastisement to positive support—I've seen lives turned around. The power of good far outstrips any hold of evil, and you can be a warrior for good if you rely on it as your exclusive weapon against evil.

I feel like doing battle today!

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 8/14/2007 09:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent! Such wise words from a short person.

Really, this is quite helpful as I have been mentally going over how and if I should address a major issue with someone.

Love from a really tall person.


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