By Sarah Geis
Bing! Another headline has popped up on your phone about COVID-19, as it seems to every time you glance at your screen; it’s presently the world’s top concern. So much so that toilet paper has been disappearing from its shelves in mad grabs to stockpile in preparation for the worst.
Whether it’s COVID-19, flu season, or some other epidemic, all disease seems to be met with fear of contagion. However, understanding what fear really is helps us to combat it.
A fundamental principle of Christian Science is that God is Love. The Bible states “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear …” (1 John 4:18). That means fear doesn’t come from God. However, the line continues: “He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
Initially this sounds as if fear is a reality, separate from God, and that anybody who’s fearful isn’t perfect. Yet this can’t be true. As inferred in the first chapter of Genesis, God created everything, and in Her image and likeness. God looked at all of Her creation and saw “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
This being so, can anything ever be not made perfect in Love? Logically, no. Because of this, can mankind be fearful and not made perfect in Love? No.
The only reason the verse states “He that feareth is not made perfect in love” is to remind us that fear is an impossibility, because we are made perfect in the image and likeness of God, Love.
Why does fear still parade in mankind’s consciousness?
It’s not made from God, who created all things. There isn’t any substance or tangibility to it, yet to a lot of people it feels real.
A definition for fear in Mary Baker Eddy’s “Science and Health” is “ignorance.” (586:11) According to Mrs. Eddy, discoverer and founder of Christian Science, “It is the mortal belief which makes the body discordant and diseased in proportion as ignorance, fear, or human will governs mortals.” (209:2) Ignorance, fear, and human will are all attributes of misunderstanding God.
Mrs. Eddy discovered that all cause and effect are mental; all true cause and effect are sourced from divine consciousness, Mind. However, when mortal mind begins to believe in a power apart from God, this ignorance fuels human will and fear. Mankind dictates whether his experience is “harmonious or discordant according to the images of thought impressed upon it.” (208:28–29)
Matter, including sickness, sin, and death, possesses no substance. We must combat mortal belief, the ignorance of God, with understanding. Our thoughts and understanding are established when we “Commit thy works unto the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:3)
We can’t serve two masters, both God and mammon. If God is at the forefront of our thinking, and we aspire to work every day in Her name as an expression of our gratitude and praise, our understanding of God will solidify as impenetrable armor against all mortal thinking.
We bless all by praying for mankind. This prayer must always begin by “allaying the fear.” (411:27) Know that mankind is exempted from disease and danger, because “God lovingly governs all, never punishing aught but sin.” (412:1-2) From this standpoint, we can go forward to “destroy the human fear of sickness.” (412:3-4)
When we pray for the world, there is no need to feel burdened. It isn’t our job to “fix everything.” That mindset is human will and ignorance of God, which won’t eliminate fear. As the reflection of God, we effortlessly express Her attributes and affections.
Let’s say you were standing in front of a mirror, preparing to lift a heavy weight. In the mirror, does the reflection pick up the weight on its own? No; you are the source, the one that acts, and your reflection effortlessly demonstrates this.
Akin to this, God does the action. God’s work is done, and it’s perfect; we simply demonstrate God is the one working. We are witnesses to it. In doing so we remember, “Ah Lord God! … there is nothing too hard for thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17)
Understanding this unwavering Principle brings healing.