The `firstness' of God's love
SOMETIMES we may feel as though a trouble has been around longer than God's care, but the truth is that nothing can predate or precede infinite divine Love. The Bible represents God as saying: ``I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.''1 We need to surrender to the reality that nothing can come before or after His loving government of His children.
This presents us with a significant question: Has divine Love allowed evil to enter its creation?
When we look at the world we might conclude that evil has obviously come in and that God must therefore at least tolerate it. But doesn't this presume that God is either unloving or incompetent?
Another course of reasoning would lead to the conclusion that God is less than all-powerful.
Instead of questioning the love, power, or intelligence of God, Christian Science questions the substance and validity of that which opposes God -- namely, evil. According to Christian Science, God's love is primary, and everything that truly exists must be built on this love, must be the outcome of divine Love itself.
Since evil is not a product of Love, it must, in the final analysis, be lifeless and powerless. It has no genuine, God-derived authority to do anything or be anything. Yes, it would appear that evil has a great deal of authority. But if we accept the fact that the one infinite God is omnipotent, we have to conclude that evil is not the unrelenting force it appears to be and that we therefore have the ability to conquer it.
Basically, we might say that evil emerges from our individual and collective rejection of God's allness. We hold to a view of life that worships matter ahead of Spirit, and we suffer the consequences.
The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy,2 says: ``Our false views of life hide eternal harmony, and produce the ills of which we complain. Because mortals believe in material laws and reject the Science of Mind, this does not make materiality first and the superior law of Soul last.''
And the next paragraph explains something of this ``Science of Mind'': ``In Science man is the offspring of Spirit.... Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being.''3
Accepting the fact that God is the ``primitive and ultimate source of being'' brings great peace and confidence. We stop blaming ourselves or circumstances or our family when problems arise, because we stop believing in a cause apart from divine Mind. We accept that God alone is the creator and all that He creates is good.
This doesn't mean, of course, that we can behave recklessly or sinfully and then expect the fact that God's love is first to suddenly wash away all the effects of wrong behavior. Sin must be recognized and put off. But if we are honestly striving to follow God's guidance and still find ourselves facing a struggle, we can certainly turn to His love and find its power leading us out of the wrong.
Before any illness, before any lack, before any sad relationship began, God's love was already there. The reality of our spiritual perfection, of our perpetual safety in His love, can be proved right where we are. We can respond to this reality by fully loving and trusting God. We have no real capacity to weave in and out of God's care.
Our needs will be met and our troubles will be healed as we stand faithfully with the truth that divine Love is first, last, and forever.
1Revelation 21:6. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Science and Health, pp. 62-63. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Psalms 90:2