Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Blessed Not Cursed Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Blessed Not Cursed Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

Tragic news, especially if it is just the latest chapter in a decades-long string of sorrows fallen on the same family, is sometimes referred to as part of a "curse." The label, applied casually and without much thought, is a con-

venient way for the public, and for journalists, to sum up a dreadful chain of misfortunes. It's meant to explain the unexplainable. Or maybe the term isn't used so casually. Perhaps some really are convinced of a literal curse - an utterance that purports to bring down divine wrath on an individual or group. All this talk about certain people being cursed - it's not a plus for those on the receiving end. It's not a plus for those on the talking end either.

Since the concept is in the news lately, perhaps it's time to pause and look at the issue in a more reasoned way. A good place to start is with the Bible, in the book of Proverbs. Consider this: "As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come" (Prov. 26:2). Bible scholars say that in the ancient world curses were superstitiously thought to have inherent force, and once uttered, they zoomed to their destination with destructive power. The proverb quoted is refuting that ancient notion. The notion is false, the proverb is true. A causeless curse doesn't hit its target any more than an aimlessly wandering bird reaches its destination.

Think of the nature of God, the only cause, who is pure good and who is unwavering in His love and affection for His creation. It's plain His divine force never infuses somebody's harmfully intended utterance with power. God simply does not give over His power to such things. His nature is to bless His offspring, to bestow good on all.

Another passage, also from the book of Proverbs, hints at the perfect consistency of God and at the consistency of what He bestows on His children. It reads, "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it" (Prov. 10:22).

God blesses. That's His action. He does not engage in an opposite action. He does not curse His own creation, nor enforce anyone else's curse. …

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