Christian Scientists will no doubt immediately recognize these three words as part of Mary Baker Eddy’s answer to an important question she asked her last class. In the reminiscences of Sue Harper Mims (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy: Expanded Edition, Vol. 1, p. 298), Mims wrote:
Then she asked us questions. One was, “What is the best way to do instantaneous healing?” Many arose. Some said, “Realize the ever-presence of good”; others, “Deny the claims of evil.” There were many answers, but when they had finished, she said, as I remember: “I will tell you the way to do it. It is to love! Just live love—be it—love, love, love. Do not know anything but Love. Be all love. There is nothing else. That will do the work. It will heal everything; it will raise the dead. Be nothing but love.”
It’s a remarkable and powerful statement and one that, without question, is critical to our healing work. But too often we forget this wasn’t the whole of what transpired.
What? There’s more?
There certainly is!
Then there came up what was, to me, the most interesting question in the whole class. Someone said, “But, Mother, are we not to discriminate between good and evil?” She answered substantially as follows:
Ah, now you have asked me what is to me the hardest thing in Christian Science! Yes, you must see and denounce evil. The Bible tells us that Jesus was God’s chosen because he loved righteousness, but the Bible does not stop there. It says, “and hated iniquity”! So often have I longed to see and know only Love—only the good—but I have not dared. I must uncover and rebuke and hate iniquity.
See and denounce evil! Love righteousness and hate iniquity as Jesus did! These are strong words, but words that are absolutely essential to our continued understanding and fruitful practice of Christianly scientific healing.
It reminds me of the passage from Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy, while referring to Jesus, wrote (p. 52):
The “man of sorrows” best understood the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good. These were the two cardinal points of Mind-healing, or Christian Science, which armed him with Love.
Focusing solely on Love without uncovering and destroying evil is, clearly, only half the equation. It’s not one or the other. Remember, Mrs. Eddy told that final class how she longed to know only Love, but didn’t dare to do so—that she must uncover, rebuke, and hate iniquity (wickedness, unrighteousness, evil).
Shouldn’t we then be willing to courageously follow the path that our Leader blazed through the wilderness of matter to the freedom of Spirit and not be tempted into taking a shortcut suggested by mortal mind—no matter how pleasant or appealing that shortcut may seem? A shortcut that would have us only look at the good while simultaneously abandoning both our requisite need and our ability to use our God-given spiritual discernment to strip evil of its disguises?
Can we really afford to allow error—in any form—to go undisturbed in its secret as well as blatant enslavement of humanity?
Then let’s make sure that we’re willing to be armed with the same two cardinal points of Love that our Master and Mrs. Eddy went into battle with—that divine sense of compassion which uncovered, rebuked, and destroyed evil while healing the sick, reforming the sinner, and demonstrating the way to transform the world!