When a dissatisfied customer of a nearby store broke some of its plate glass windows, many sympathetic neighbors thought his action justified. It was intended as a gesture of protest against what he considered to be injustice. True, a few people said they wished he had been more modest -- that he had broken only one window instead of ten. But others felt that violence was probably the only means by which he could attract enough attention to get the fair treatment he deserved.
But is violence the real solution? Genuine followers of Christianity would say "No!" Their Master, christ Jesus, recommended the righting of wrongs through gentle means -- through the expression of spiritual power rather than physical force. He preached forbearance, the turning of the other cheek, and the walking of the extra mile, even when one has apparently been badly wronged. n1 In such a situation it takes far more strength -- spiritual strength -- to act charitably and gently than to lash out in angry protest.
n1 See Matthew 5:39.
The Bible tells us that when Jesus himself was scourged and crowned with thorns he did not retaliate. He prayed that God would forgive his persecutors. Finally, of course, his gentle but spiritually powerful approach triumphed in the resurrection. He proved antagonism and the most savage of physical tactics inadequate to destroy either his life or his God-derived message of the superiority of love over hate. Shouldn't Jesus' followers also expect to see right triumph over wrong through the expression of the same Christly qualities he embodied? Christian Science insists that they should.
In her writing Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, emphasizes the Bible teaching that God, divine Spirit, infinite good, is the only power and presence. He is divine Principle, Love, the creator of the spiritual universe including man, and He governs His entire creation through the eternal law of harmony. In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m Mrs. Eddy writes, "Moral and spiritual might belong to Spirit, who holds the 'wind in His fists.'" And she continues further on: "Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale.The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable." Then she adds: "Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise."
n2 Science and Health,m p. 192.
When we're confronted by evidence of some wrong, unjust situation, we may be tempted to take fierce physical action --such as breaking windows -- in the effort to put things right. But this is not the Christian way to restore the recognition of God's reign of harmony in His creation. As General Dwight Eisenhower once confided in his personal diary, "Anger cannot win, it cannot even think clearly."
The gentle, Christly approach is not inaction -- it is not passive acceptance of unjust treatment or patient tolerance of a wrong situation. It involves the exercise of moral and spiritual power through the acknowledgment of the all-power through the acknowledgment of the all-power of God, divine Truth and Love. It requires the vital expression of His qualities in all circumstances -- even under bitter provocation. It demands discipline of human passions and brutal propensities in our own thought, and development of such trust in the power of God, divine Principle, to correct and adjust whatever is wrong on the human scene that we never doubt that right is might and that it will prevail over evil in any and every form.
As we practice this christly method of righting wrongs we will find it to be infinitely more effective than erring mental or physical force. Even in our first tentative efforts to throw weight "into the right scale" we will see results. We will see healing in proportion as we gain confidence in the fact that God, Spirit, is in truth the only power. We will see it as we prove His control of the situation by allowing Him rather than depraved mortal will to control our own thoughts and deeds through the expression of His qualities. Injustice, deceit, hatred -- any form of wrong -- must be recognized as illegitimate and give way to right. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men. II Timothy 2:24