On the Overcoming of Evil

On page 356 of "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy with a characteristic directness states how certain types of evil may be destroyed. "The pent-up elements of mortal mind," she declares, "need no terrible detonation to free them. Envy, rivalry, hate need no temporary indulgence that they may be destroyed through suffering; they should be stifled from lack of air and freedom." We are assured by these words that the scientific process of destroying evil includes no cataclysmic experience, no violent upheaval. The method is simpler and quieter: stifle these obtrusive erroneous beliefs by ceasing to cherish them; give them no freedom, no credence, no substantiality. In this way the beliefs of evil expressed as jealousy, selfishness, greed, hate, are not indulged and thus endowed with a degree of reality. Being neither nourished nor cherished, they are stifled and disappear.

Our Leader's concise directions for overcoming evil are analogous to the words of James, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Christian Scientists learn that the most—in fact, the only—effective treatment of evil is to destroy it through recognition of its fallacious character. If it be resisted as something, immediately its claims are acknowledged; it is then apparently given some place and power, and the struggle is on. Its purpose, in part at least, has been fulfilled in the recognition accorded to it as something to be opposed.

Students of Christian Science are keenly awake to the need for withdrawing support to the offerings of evil. Experience proves that when so handled evil droops and dies like a weed from the roots of which the nourishing earth has been removed. Is it not clear, then, that we should carefully watch our thoughts, lest we allow that which is untrue, base, and unworthy to become rooted and cherished there? When kept out of consciousness, evil pretensions can do us no harm; but even if admitted, their destruction may be effected when once they are recognized for what they are. When once their utter falsity is seen, support may be withdrawn and their stifling accomplished.

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The Christ-spirit in Healing
May 21, 1927

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