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Deflating the fear of war

The buildup of sophisticated weaponry by the superpowers; talk of limited nuclear war; the feeling in some countries that they are merely pawns of their giant allies -- all this can seem rather overwhelming.

But is this situation as impossible as it seems? Not if we look to spiritual means for a solution.

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Certainly, a major factor underlying the arms race and the feeling of victimization is the age-old culprit, fear - fear of inadequate defense; fear of being caught in the middle of conflict. These fears can't be disposed of through merely human efforts, as useful as these may be. We have to define and deal with fear through an understanding of the allness and goodness of God and man's relationship to Him. Spiritual means provide lasting answers.

Fear would hypnotize us with gloomy statistics, an endless stream of ''ifs,'' a gamut of bleak pictures. Yet we can help to break this stupor with the truth of God and His creation revealed in the Scriptures.

The Bible tells us, ''God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.'' And a little further on it adds, ''There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.''n1

n1 John 4:16, 18.

Fear dissolves in the understanding that God is Love itself and the only power; that He blesses man infinitely, bestowing all good; that man is God's image and likeness, the expression of His being.

The love of God, which in reality man reflects, leaves no one out. It never includes a capacity to dominate, nor does it permit a feeling of doubt or victimization. But these spiritual facts have to be understood and lived in ever-increasing degree.

The living of love was at the very heart of Christ Jesus' unequaled healing ministry and of the early Christian Church. The Master was so conscious of the changeless love of God that he was able to heal all types of diseases and to show the way of redemption and salvation from sin. In no way was the love of Jesus restrictive or confined. He said, ''Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.''n2 In loving, Jesus was showing the way to dominion over fear and the conflicts that feed on it. And because Jesus' loving reflected immortal divine Love, neither his life nor his teachings could be destroyed. What a profound example this is to us!

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n2 Matthew 5:44.

The good we do, the love we express, are living proof of our inseparability from God, divine Love. Reflecting this Love removes a sense of helplessness and panic. It gives new meaning to life. Writing to the members of a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, Mary Baker Eddy n3 stated: ''As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing.''n4 These words, in agreement with Jesus' teachings, are applicable to us all.

n3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n4 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,m p. 165.

We are ''able to impart truth, health, and happiness'' through expressing the qualities of God and through realizing our inseparability from God, Love. Arming ourselves in this way will lead to progressive dominion over fear and futility and will help bring to light practical answers to the problems we face. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Pslams 34.4

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