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Annulling the Battle

RECENTLY while I was listening to the radio, a song caught my attention. In a way, it summed up how many people feel. It talked about the feeling that you're pulled in two directions, a combination of ''good blood'' and ''bad blood.''

There may be times when we feel there's a battle going on inside ourselves between right and wrong. Or, put another way, between materiality and spirituality. This battle isn't new; it confronted people in Bible times. ''But,'' we may ask ourselves, ''in the end, is it possible to stop being pulled between good and evil?''

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Yes, because all men and women are made in God's image and likeness. Christ Jesus said, ''I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me'' (John 6:38). It was obvious to Jesus that he was led by God. And he taught that God's goodness and power can be just as obvious to each one of us. Jesus taught that each of us is governed by God.

You can always learn more about God and His creation by reading the Bible. One thing you'll find is that you aren't defined by human heritage. You aren't at the mercy of traits passed on from generation to generation. In fact, the Bible says quite plainly, in Ezekiel, ''The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him'' (18:20).

So if you find that you're pulled by the forces of good and evil simultaneously, what can you do? You might begin by turning to God to lead you. This actually involves turning away from materiality. It doesn't mean ignoring the evil in question, whether it's a bad temper, bad habits, or inherited illness. Rather, it means learning what the truth is about your identity. Learning of God's power over evil, or what is bad. In short, learning what is good, because what is good is given of God, forever.

The first chapter of Genesis clearly tells that God created man good. It isn't until the second and following chapters of Genesis that an allegory presents the inverse of creation. This allegory includes Cain and Abel, who are brothers-one characterized as good and one as bad. It's always important to remember that this is simply a story that teaches a deeper meaning. And what is the deeper meaning? There are many useful lessons. One is that ''the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.'' Cain killed Abel. But Cain was not punished because of anything his father Adam did, but because of his own jealousy toward Abel-because he didn't resist the temptation to kill him.

The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. It says this: ''Cain is the type of mortal and material man, conceived in sin and 'shapen in iniquity;' he is not the type of Truth and Love'' (p. 540). Here's one thing the allegory is saying, then: when you're tempted to do evil-by being ''the type of mortal and material man, conceived in sin and 'shapen in iniquity' ''-you can turn to God instead and find His guidance and power. This will help you to express God, good, in whatever way is necessary for healing.

Your true and only identity is spiritual. And because of this, you are good. It's right within you to be and do good. It's right within you to express God by doing good. No one can express God's goodness and at the same time do or know evil. We each can expect God to govern us every moment, in every circumstance, each day. It is always within each person's consciousness-within thought-that this truth is found. And the expression of what we find in this truth is evident, in terms of character improvement, physical healing, or whatever else is good and needed.

Learn that you are shaped in the image of God, inheriting only good, not made up of ''good and bad blood.'' This helps you express only the goodness of God. It actually annuls the battle.

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Teach me thy way, O Lord;

I will walk in thy truth: unite

my heart to fear thy name. I

will praise thee, O Lord my God,

with all my heart: and I will

glorify thy name for evermore.

Psalms 86:10

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