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Justice and God's Law

IS there a divine law of justice that we can appeal to? As we look at the world around us, it may not appear so. Injustice seems too common, and it's hard to see where God fits in. Yet we won't find God and His justice through looking at things from a superficial, materialistic point of view. If we want to get closer to God and experience His help -- if we want to prove the reality of divine law -- we need to open our thought to His presence.

Christ Jesus said, ``When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.''1 In the ``closet'' of prayer we can gain a better understanding of God's love and control. We can discern the profound, unchanging spiritual reality of His care for man and open the way to proving it.

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Injustices are not God's will and they are not the result of any supposed inability of God to help us. We might say that they're the result of the widely held belief that God, divine Love, is absent and that either circumstances or people can block a just resolution. Justice can be restored to the degree that we recognize that divine law is supreme and that the true selfhood of everyone concerned is God's spiritual image, expressing God's qualities and subject to His law.

This was shown to me in a small way while I was teaching at a university. A student had represented part of a published article as her own original work in a major research paper. At the outset of the course I had explained that if plagiarism in a student's paper could be proved, no credit would be given. Most of the students put a great deal of effort into their research.

At first I was afraid I would not be able to prove that this individual had plagiarized, since she insisted that the material in question was her own writing. But as I prayed, I realized that maintaining the integrity of the assignment and ensuring fairness to all the students were in line with God's law and that I should expect to be able to locate the source of the stolen material.

Before I had prayed, it seemed highly improbable that the steps I eventually took to locate the material would succeed, and yet when I took them I soon found it. Even though this was a relatively small incident, there was much doubt to overcome, and the experience left a strong impression of the ever-availability of God's just guidance.

As we bring our thought into accord -- through prayer -- with God's knowledge of His own omnipotence and absolute control, we effectively confront injustice, and the human situation is corrected in a natural way. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, ``Mortals have only to submit to the law of God, come into sympathy with it, and to let His will be done.''2

Since God's love is impartial and His judgment is unerring, our greatest need is to acknowledge His government in all the affairs of man. Keeping this in mind has been helpful to me when praying about social and political injustices that many people in the world face today. The attitudes that foster injustice often seem so deeply ingrained that it's difficult to imagine how the injustices might be resolved. But we don't need to know all the answers in order to pray effectively. Divine law can be called upon to make needed changes in human character and outlook. Through prayer that acknowledges God's absolute, perfect government of man, we can increasingly bring that law to bear on unjust circumstances.

1Matthew 6:6. 2Miscellaneous Writings, p. 208.

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