I Will Fear No Evil (Psalm 23:4)

From Rev. Eric Carswell, Head Pastor
October 15, 2019

What will tomorrow bring? None of us knows for sure. But each of us has patterns of expectation that color our perspective. These patterns of expectation are fostered by communities of spirits in the next life and can tend to be either healthy and hopeful or destructive and negative in outlook. Our view of the world can focus our minds in a useful way on the role the Lord has in life and the roles we can have to help Him, and it can focus us on all the insecurities and dangers that potentially exist. The first perspective tends to open our eyes to many good things and to see hopeful possibilities. The second perspective tends to focus our vision on the presence of evil and its likely triumph, at least in the short run.
You might think that a broad and deep knowledge of the things the Lord can teach us would help immunize a person from focusing on evil. Knowledge, if not guided by love or living concern for what is useful, can make us even more critical of all that we see.
The person whose rational is such as consists in truth alone, even though this is the truth of faith, and does not at the same time consist in the good of charity, is altogether [like a wild desert donkey]. Such a person is quick to find fault, makes no allowances, is against all, regards everyone as being in error, is instantly prepared to rebuke, to chasten, and to punish, shows no pity, does not apply himself or herself and makes no effort to redirect people’s thinking; for such a person views everything from the standpoint of truth, and nothing from the standpoint of good. In short, that person is a hard human being. The one thing to soften this hardness is the good of charity, for good is the soul of truth, and when good draws near and implants itself in truth, the latter becomes so different that it can hardly be recognized. (Arcana Caelestia 1949:2)
While we don’t want to have our mind formed into one that criticizes everything, we also don’t want to approach life with a passive trust that everything will work out. One of the temptations that the Lord experienced in the world took the form of the devil calling Him to throw Himself off the pinnacle of the temple. The suggestion was that He could trust that the angels would prevent any harm from coming to Him. Jumping would have been foolishly irresponsible behavior. It wouldn’t have been an image of a desirable faith. We too need to be wisely prudent in avoiding and responding to the threats and dangers that can exist in this world. But within our wise and vigilant efforts there can be an inner peace that does acknowledge the Lord’s efforts and is based on a deep faith in His care. This faith knows that for anyone who is trying to be led by the Lord they are ever on a pathway to a better and happier life.

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