Choose to thrive, not to suffer

January 7, 2021 | 27 comments

An acquaintance who was feeling isolated, lonely, depressed, discouraged and despondent about having to live with all the social distancing rules and fears of the pandemic over the last year, started telling me how “Everyone is depressed, lonely, isolated and living in fear of a virus, and suffering terribly from it.” I disagreed. I said, “No, everyone is not suffering. Many people are not afraid of this pandemic. They have mastered it in their mind and are doing well, thriving, and prospering despite it.”

There is no question, that the ramifications of the pandemic have touched everyone and forced major changes in living and work patterns, how we socialize and interact with each other. But there is one factor the pandemic has never touched, and that’s our ability to demonstrate spiritual reality.

In spiritual reality, God is in control of our life, not a virus. As Christian Science explains, spiritual reality is demonstrable on earth. “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10), Jesus Christ taught his students to pray and prove.

The pandemic is not an event to fear, cower before and serve as a slave. It’s an error of mortal mind to be conquered and proven unreal. Those who understand this truth will rise above the pandemic, conquer bad effects from it, and thrive despite it.

One does not have to suffer from the pandemic. It is not a ruler or a power greater than God. With God at your side, you can demonstrate spiritual truth and be active daily, loving others, helping others, praying for others, overcoming the illusions of time and space with the one Mind, being productive, staying employed with worthwhile activity, and demonstrating supply and abundance. It’s all done through Mind.

Joshua laid this truth out in stark terms to his followers when he said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15, NKJV).

Don’t let the pandemic turn viruses into gods and lords over your life. Cast out these false idols from consciousness, and worship the Lord. Choose to thrive, not to suffer!

27 thoughts on “Choose to thrive, not to suffer”

  1. Thank you Evan. I loved how you didn’t let your acquaintance’s “assertion” become your “truth”. I’m realizing more and more how important it is to protect my thought against other people’s assertions/narratives that are not true. It’s important to stay alert and not just blindly accept what someone says forcefully or repeatedly as the truth and instead carefully evaluate everything for yourself before accepting it. For example I’ve got a family member who for years has asserted that she was “ignored as a child” and she blames problems she is experiencing now on that claim. Other family members have bought in to her narrative. But recently I thought about it and realized all of the ways this family member was cared for as a child and decided her narrative was not true and I realized she had just created (imagined) that narrative perhaps in an effort to get others to pity her. If possible, at some point I want to gently help her see how much she was loved as a child because I feel like she is imprisoned by her false beliefs to the contrary. But this experience just made me realize how many ways we “self-imprison” ourselves.

    Politics is another arena where people make assertions that aren’t true and if we’re not careful we buy into the false claims and are controlled by those claims and suffer as a result.

    The other idea I took away from this blog is how important it is to maintain the truth in thought. For example, there is a lot of talk about the Covid vaccine and how everyone needs to take it and how businesses or governments may mandate that we take it. Of course I don’t want to do that, but if I’m forced to do so it occurred to me that nothing can affect my thought unless I allow it. So if I’m forced to be stuck by a needle and have something injected in what appears to be a material body, that can’t touch my thinking (my spiritual identity) in any way. And by holding to that truth in thought I can be protected and immune from any effect of being forced to do that.

    1. Yes
      Thank you Evan, Brian, SpiritView
      Thank God for the Grace we have because we have Christian Science

    2. Excellent examples Brian on dealing with a challenging family situation and the vaccine. Thank you for sharing.

    3. Your thoughts shared in this Blog reminded me of adopting my children, an older sister and her younger brother, who were vaccinated upon their arrival home to the USA. We had a long list of vaccinations which had been administered to them while they awaited traveling to the USA. No harm was done, in either instance. Today, they have the choice to be vaccinated against Corona virus, as they are adults. We’ll see what they choose, as they’ve lived in the USA now. I’ll rely on Divine Mind to lead the way.

  2. So important to be reminded of this, thanks Evan.

    I recall from one of your other posts that if we find ourselves clinging tightly to some false claim (or if it seems to be clinging to us), we need to cling to Truth more strongly!

    Reminders / affirmations of the truth like your post above are so helpful in this vein.

  3. When I first read your title Evan I thought, “How perfect!” I didn’t realize the blog was to help with the issues around the virus, although that is so helpful. Those words “Choose to thrive, not suffer” apply to so much else and have helped me already. We have the ability to choose not to suffer grief for example! I’ve been thinking a lot about the statement in Science and Health (pg. 76) “Suffering, sinning, dying beliefs are unreal. When divine Science is universally understood, they will have no power over man, for man is immortal and lives by divine authority,” How blessed we are that Christian Science empowers us to resist evil and understand the unreality of sin, disease and death because of the Allness of God, Good. I’m grateful for any bits of dominion and glimpses that God has the authority not mortal mind.

  4. I always enjoy also reading the comments on this blog as they are often really good!
    Like you, Evan, I find that most of the people I know didn’t feel isolated at all in lockdown (and we had the tightest lockdown in the world here in Australia!) It was generally seen by many as a great opportunity to rethink how you run your life, to study and read, to spend time alone quietly without the pressure of work and lots of social get-togethers which are often (let’s face it) more duty than enjoyment. I used this time to pray for the world and for various problems I and my family members have without feeling constantly interrupted. In the same way that we can have pressure without stress and be more productive, we can have alone-time without feeling isolated. A question I asked myself is “What am I isolated from that is important?” Apart from my grandchildren, mainly it wasn’t really so important and I felt protected from distractions rather than isolated. We need to embrace change because, without it, there is no progress.

  5. I have a dear friend/teacher-that I assisted in submitting an article to the publications that was never published. It is regarding this topic-The Lack of Fear. I do believe it is helpful to share-and she did encourage me to share it with the church I am a member of-and school where I work. Rosemary Ellsworth Brown, PhD wrote it but she reminded me it is not important who wrote it humanly-what’s important is that it was revealed by God. I will copy and paste a portion of her writing.

    She is referring to how it is important to understand the words- that we use-in conjunction with treating our thoughts-what we accept/reject in our mind.

    “I immediately wrote “disease” as I had interpreted it some time ago, “dis-ease,” meaning lack of ease. It occurred to me that I had become aware of considerable lack of ease in our country and around the world for some time. With all the world-wide emotional and political disruptions, particularly over the last few years. This was not new. I realized it was the physical form of unrest-manifested.

    Next, it was time to study the word, pandemic. According to Christian Science it could be considered-just another word-or symptom of what are called chronic or acute disease. “Agree to disagree” with approaching symptoms of chronic or acute disease, whether it is cancer, consumption, or smallpox.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (390:27-29.) It was easy for me to see that this was just another symptom called-Covid-19.

    “The press unwittingly sends forth many sorrows and diseases among the human family. It does this by giving names to diseases and printing long descriptions which mirror images of disease distinctly in thought. A new name for an ailment affects people like a Parisian name for a novel garment. Everyone hastens to get it. A minutely described disease costs many a man his earthly days of comfort. What a price for human knowledge!” (S&H 196:31:7)

    It helped to recall that I had read “Many a hopeless case of disease is induced by a single post mortem examination, -not from infection nor from contact with material virus, but from the fear of the disease and from the image brought before the mind; it is a mental state, which is afterwards outlined on the body. (S&H 196-25-30)

    Ah, so-fear! I have learned through Christian Science “Fear is the fountain of sickness.” (S&H 391:32 Here again, I had often read and talked about the word, fear, but didn’t remember the actual dictionary definition. I was reminded by Webster that: fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. So, at the core of the problem, it was nothing more than an emotion brought on by a belief: a belief defined as an opinion, or conviction of what might be true-without knowing whether or not it was true or a threat: the thought that something in the future might be wrong-or only an indication of something that might inflict evil, injury, or damage-example: the sky held a “threat” of rain. *

    Here at last was a simple answer. I now have a rational as well as a spiritual answer to the question “Why aren’t you afraid?” Human intelligence tells me that I began this life with only two fears-falling and loud noises, both of which disappear. My spiritual research informs me that fears are learned-educated beliefs. I was actually taught to be afraid. Gratefully, this means that what we have learned we can unlearn. This means that, when appropriate, fear can be discarded and replaced with a spiritual fact for a different reality in which fear can be seen as what it is, merely-what we have been taught to believe. The wonder is that when I can understand the unreality of disease, dis-ease or lack of fear, I can apply it to any lack I think I might have. Ignorance can be replaced by understanding. Isn’t that something?”

    By Rosemary Ellsworth Brown, PhD

    1. Thank you, Evan for your clear and concise conviction and statement-no- not everyone is afraid, lonely and distraught. I have found I need to be careful when inserting my ideas to others that don’t yet belief and know CS. I don’t want to humanly argue with others- and I have learned my lesson by “throwing my pearls to the swine” so I often treat my thought and keep quiet. I appreciate though-hearing you say that I’ve mastered fear in my mind- with the help of Christian Science and the Christ. What a blessing. I am Thankful for this community and for your ideas- Evan, and your dedication to the movement and your daily efforts each day in order to write this blog.

    2. Wow! That’s a wonderful, powerful treatment. I really appreciate having it. Thank You for your effort bringing it to us today.

    3. Thank you, Christi, for sharing this article by Rosemary. So many healing and fresh ideas to pray with!
      NOTHING can deprive us of the divine joy of the New Year! We, those in our govt, and all citizens, are open and receptive to God’s infinite, healing goodness. We are, indeed, free to be and express our happy, healthy, loving, law-abiding and self-less selves.
      Hallelujah for our God-given gift to reflect instead of react!!

    1. That is indeed a most wonderful Journal article – thank you for the link.
      Thank you, Evan for today’s message – much needed and appreciated.

      1. I just finished reading the Journal article and that coupled with todays blog is so inspiring and clear. Thank you Robin for bringing the article to our attention and Evan for blogs today and every day.

  6. Love this Evan! There are an infinite number of perspectives to chose from. Just because the news presents an existence that “could” be perceived as “Everyone is depressed, lonely, isolated and living in fear of a virus, and suffering terribly from it” doesn’t mean it is true for “everyone.” No need to hold onto that perspective. We all get to chose what we think and it is ok to chose – but chose wisely. You can chose to not be afraid. You can join others in prayer and no longer feel alone. You can seek opportunities to help your neighbors and no longer feel isolated, depressed or alone. You can choose… love your title “Chose to thrive, not to suffer.” And have fun finding all the ways you can do this! Love the comments today too!
    Much love to you all! 🙂

  7. Good positive read today Evan, as are the comments and shared articles. Thank you everyone. I pray for those who are oppressed by lockdown barriers to see and experience freedom in other ways.
    For me it just underlines the fact that the way we overcome any physical or mental error incurred is to begin with God as All and allow no influence on thought but all the good this All surrounds us with. Not just living life but expressing Gods Life.
    ‘Spirit and its creations are the only realities of being ‘ S&H pg 264

  8. Thank you Evan for this uplifting message, and for so clearly correcting the downward tendencies and limiting thoughts and fears surrounding the “new surge” of the virus. As students of Christian Science we know that regardless of the beliefs, fears, and mandates of mortal mind, we continue to express our divine nature with a sense of peace and oneness with all good. All the responses and links today are wonderful! Feel so supported and blessed!!

  9. Marvelous!!! Thank you so much for these inspiring words. And they are more than inspiring, they FEEL right. Last year was tough – no doubt – Now however, I want to recapture a sense of newness to everyday living, kinda like when I was a kid. You have reminded me that I don’t have to conrinue in a dark place called COVID. Let there be light is a better outlook than fear of germs . Again, let there be light. God is only too willing for us to have light!

  10. Thank you Evan for such a timely & powerful “view”.
    Choices, choices, choices! It seems like our present day culture is predicated on a constant barrage of choices being fostered on an unprepared and ill-equipped civilization. But the answer for all is right here…right now! Unchangeable eternal Truth. Spirit, God, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience, cancels any & all illusions of disease, sickness, sin and death.
    And as MBE commented “the Lord’s Prayer covers all human needs”. The phrase Evan quoted she interpreted as: “Enable us to know, – as in heaven, so on earth, – God is omnipotent, supreme”.

  11. Thank you, Thank you, one and all. Friends are expressing annoyance with me that I am not all “hot and bothered” as they are about ongoing and recent news reports. So good to stay connected with all of you.

  12. So grateful for all the wonderful healing thoughts and messages from all. I love that article Robin
    thank you for sharing. Also Christi, Rosemary and Brian.
    Evan the bible verse from Joshua 24 :15 is one of my go to bible verses when quickly needed, usually along with “Get thee behind me satan” with an I will only believe what God is telling me.
    Thank you again for the messages from God.

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