Do we have to wait until judgment day?
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
All the talk about the new millennium presents a good opportunity to think more deeply about the idea of judgment.
I've found this statement a help: "No final judgment awaits mortals, for the judgment-day of wisdom comes hourly and continually, even the judgment by which mortal man is divested of all material error" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 291).
The kind of judgment day referred to here is not about God deciding if He considers us to be good or bad people. Nor is it about God separating us from Himself, or from each other. Rather, it's about daily, hourly, leaving evil behind in our lives. And it's God who helps us to do that. He loves us. In fact, so great is God's love that the book of Isaiah says we are graven on the palms of His hands (see 49:16).
God is our Father and our Mother. A loving Parent would not condemn or banish His children. But God absolutely does condemn evil itself. He condemns it as an outright deceiver. He didn't put evil in His creation. He made us in His very image; our true identity is therefore good and pure, because God is totally good. There is no inherent badness in us. The notion that God created us mortal, having flawed and sinful identities, is exactly what "the judgment-day of wisdom" requires us to shed. And this is something to do moment by moment, in the routine of our daily lives.
It's done within the precincts of our personal and private thoughts.
Right now, right at the moment when things might not be going well at home, or when a good relationship is threatened by harsh words, or when we feel sick, we can do something constructive that will make today a "judgment-day of wisdom." That is, we can turn to God, holding to the facts regarding the genuine, perfect identity He has given us, and in the process reject flawed concepts about ourselves and others. This is prayer. It heals.
At one time, I was treated very spitefully. Although upset, I stopped and prayed. I knew that such unkindness is never part of anyone's real individuality, any more than it is part of God. Any form of sin is included in the deception that God condemns. So I concluded that harshness did not belong in God's creation. I prayed to shed the feelings of distress, and affirmed instead that no child of God could hurt others or suffer hurt. Accepting this spiritual truth quickly comforted me. It also restored full harmony between the other person and me.
No matter what is taking place around you, it's possible to keep close to God, to be calm, and to express God's love fearlessly - even to those who appear to be less than amicable. Because the effort to behold ourselves and others from a spiritual standpoint has a transforming and healing effect in daily living, it leads to heaven on earth. We don't have to wait for a day of reckoning before we are granted a heavenly life.
Jesus said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20, 21). Through his life, Jesus showed that peace, health, and goodness are ours right now. That as we fill our hearts and minds with the understanding that we are truly loved by God, we escape the hell of sinful thinking and find happiness here and now. You don't have to wait to begin transforming your life through spiritual understanding.
And be not conformed
to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing
of your mind, that ye may
prove what is that good,
and acceptable, and perfect,
will of God.... Abhor
that which is evil; cleave
to that which is good.
Romans 12:2, 9