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God’s goodness isn’t random

From the January 18, 2016 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

While I was watching TV the other day, I saw a comedy skit based on the concept of random occurrences. Although I wasn’t paying too much attention at the time, it alerted me to think about what we learn in Christian Science about the concept of chance or luck—either good or bad.

We might accept that there could be random good that comes into our lives, but if this were true, then we would also need to accept that random evil is unavoidable as well. But Christian Science teaches us that neither of these is the case, though for very different reasons. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states, “All is under the control of the one Mind, even God” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 544). Since God is the one and only power, and God is all good, He could never withhold any of His bountiful supply from any of us, His ideas.

As we come to realize that each of us already possesses all the good that we could ever need from the one infinite source, God, we understand more and more clearly that good is not dependent on chance. And then we begin to see more evidence of good being made manifest in our human experience.

What does this mean for the belief in random evil, such as accidents? By definition, accidents are unforeseen and a matter of chance. But, as Mrs. Eddy teaches in Christian Science: “Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God’s unerring direction and thus bring out harmony.

Good is not dependent on chance.

“Under divine Providence there can be no accidents, since there is no room for imperfection in perfection” (Science and Health, p. 424). God could never cause anything evil or destructive, either on purpose or by mistake—because God is good itself, and nothing exists outside of God, who is infinite. All that our loving Father-Mother can ever provide us is all the good that exists. He could never withhold one morsel of His infinite goodness from any of His children, because we are each His reflection, inseparable from Him. We are the outcome of God, created and maintained in His image and likeness, perfect and spiritual. No matter how bleak things might appear to material sense, difficult circumstances are overcome by understanding that it is impossible for any of God’s perfect spiritual ideas to be subject to anything but total goodness.

Let’s think about what Christ Jesus’ example taught us. For instance, when he and his disciples were in a ship and a storm suddenly appeared, the disciples were frightened that they would die in the wave-tossed sea, victims of a chance hazard. But Jesus “arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm” (see Matthew 8:23–27)—wonderful proof that God’s care is constant, not random or contingent on any material circumstances, and that as we understand this, we can see it demonstrated in our lives more and more.

What a wonderful inheritance we have from God, our Father-Mother. Material sense suggests that we might not always have enough of good, or that something bad could occur, or that there is a power other than God, good, such as random chance or luck. But there is only one source of good, and that is God. And He does not produce evil. There is never any other power, and knowing and understanding this enables us to experience its truth in our own lives.

I had an opportunity to demonstrate this a few months ago. Seemingly out of nowhere, in almost a slapstick fashion, I fell backward down the top three steps of a stairway in my house. As I scrambled to prevent my falling down the entire flight of stairs, I declared to myself that there can be no accidents in God’s kingdom.

As I landed on my back, I felt extreme pain. Almost immediately, my adult son appeared and helped me to my feet, even though I felt most uncomfortable. He helped me calm my thought, reassuring me that as God’s spiritual idea, I am always in His care. I was instantly grateful for the knowledge that God created His spiritual children perfect, and that we can never be anything but perfect. I felt that God was embracing me in His love.

I remembered this statement from Science and Health: “Never born and never dying, it were impossible for man, under the government of God in eternal Science, to fall from his high estate” (p. 258). This helped me understand that there could be no accident to rob me of my spiritual wholeness and place in God’s kingdom.

There could be no accident to rob me of my spiritual wholeness.

Though this reassurance comforted me, it was difficult to move without pain, and I continued to address the situation prayerfully, with the full, loving support of my family as well. As I prayed, I affirmed that there are no random occurrences of evil—no accidents—and that good does not depend on chance, because the only real universe is spiritual, infinitely good, governed exclusively by God. I also refuted the false belief that I was a material being needing to be fixed, and prayed to understand more fully my true identity as a spiritual, not a material, creation. Since God is perfect, we are also perfect, as His reflection. I even saw the humor in trying to imagine a spiritual being falling and injuring itself.

As I continued praying in this way, the pain diminished. I continued to pray, and within a couple of weeks of the incident, I was able to ride my bike, and in another couple of weeks, I was completely free of all pain and difficulty of motion.

Of course, I was very grateful for this freedom of physical movement. But I rejoiced even more in the spiritual growth that took place as I realized more completely that we are not subject to chance, but are forever held in God’s spiritual kingdom—perfect and complete.

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