The other day I received a supposedly inspirational e-mail message that instructed me to tell those who matter to me that I love and appreciate them. That seemed like a good idea! But the message closed with the warning that if I didn't forward it to everyone on my contact list within a few hours, I would probably experience some calamity. So instead of feeling uplifted by the reminder to be more loving, I felt burdened by a curse.
Instinctively, I rebelled. I didn't like being told, in effect, "Do as I say or you'll be punished." I find it impossible to believe that a message urging me to express more love but also conveying a threat of cursing can be inspired by a spiritual or Christly impulse. It seems more designed to reinforce superstitious anxieties.
Such messages stay on a mental level where life is a mixture of good and evil, blessing and cursing. They don't raise thought to God, the source of all good, or even reinforce our efforts to be spiritual.
To get a clear consciousness of God's daily presence in my life â€“ and the lives of those I love â€“ I pray to reject the possibility that life can include any kind of curse. God's messages, or the angels He sends to us, are totally good. They tell us that He loves us unconditionally, fully, without regard to wealth, education, race, or language. These messages never condemn. They might awaken within us a desire to do better or to correct our mistakes, but there is no negativity or curse in that. God's judgment is positive and uplifting. The Bible assures me with these words: "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25). And its record of God's goodness and love is consistent.
The first real judgment of His creation is recorded in the first chapter of the Bible, when God saw all that He created and pronounced it very good. In this spiritual record of creation, God's word was final. The book of Genesis then provides another record of creation, filled with mist and dreams, curses, and mediocre attainments. In it, Adam and Eve sin and are cast out of the garden of Eden. Bible scholars say this record comes from a different source and isn't a continuation of the other record. It even uses a different name for God. So it doesn't replace the record in Genesis 1; it stands in contrast to it as a signpost of what not to believe about ourselves.
When we look for God's blessings, each day, little by little, we awake from the dreary belief that each of us is cursed and see how impossible it is that a loving God would do this. This prepares us to embrace the glories of the record in Genesis 1, where God is unchanging good, and we are His image and likeness.
Those angel messages tell us of God's purpose for us, which is always the production of harmony. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, wrote in her major work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," that "the angels of His presence â€“ the spiritual intuitions that tell us when 'the night is far spent, the day is at hand' â€“ are our guardians in the gloom" (p. 174). A guardian protects, guides, and uplifts. It never condemns. We need these angels every minute, and we're entitled to them as God's beloved children.
How, then, to make one's thought angel-ready? Prayer beginning with the affirmation of God's all-power turns thought to the infinite One who is divine Love. This God-centered consciousness prepares us to accept God's messages of love to us. This is the message that counts; no curse â€“ whether from an e-mail message or a person â€“ comes from God, so it has no standing. Because it's a lie, we don't need to be afraid to hit the "delete" key, literally and figuratively, to eradicate any threat of cursing. We can rejoice that the only true spiritual messages have their source in God, and they overflow with infinite blessings.