Resisting the Evil Impulse

"She doesn't know why she surrendered to the impulse," commented a lawyer. He was defending a woman accused of stealing some small items. She came from a prosperous family and could have paid for the things many times over from the money in her purse. There was no apparent explanation for such an act of dishonesty.

This is far from being an isolated case. Thousands of comparatively affluent, otherwise law-abiding people appear in court each year and plead guilty to shoplifting. They are humiliated. In defense they can only murmur in shame, "I don't know what got into me." But Christian Science shows that in so saying these people hint at an important fact that could teach us all a valuable lesson. It could help to show us how to face up to evil, see through its pretensions, and defend our natural, God-given integrity when we are tempted to commit criminal and immoral acts of any kind.

When Christ Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, he recognized that the temptation was an effort to separate him from the blessings of God's love. Although it might have seemed that the argument was in his own thought, the Bible shows the impulsion to do wrong as coming from outside. Three times Jesus resisted, and the way he rejected the devil's proposals showed he recognized they were foreign to his own God-governed nature. He replied as though talking to someone else, firmly rejecting the suggestions before they could get a foothold in his thought.

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The Radicalism That Fosters Moderation
January 22, 1977

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