Here’s the situation as it unfolded. One day I found that when I walked, there was a great deal of pain in my leg. I was praying with the idea that if I was created and maintained by a perfect God, then I must reflect that perfection—as perfect man. Although I knew this was true, I still thought that maybe I should get out of my chair and “test out my leg” to see how it felt.
When I tried walking, my right leg felt much better; but to my surprise my left leg now felt even worse than the right one had before. “How ridiculous,” I thought to myself. I recalled something that Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Keep distinctly in thought that man is the offspring of God, not of man; that man is spiritual, not material; that Soul is Spirit, outside of matter, never in it, never giving the body life and sensation” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 396).
Suddenly I saw what I was doing. I’d pray for a while, and then look to my body to see if it was doing better. This is the opposite of the practice of Christian Science. Our goal is healing, of course, but that doesn’t mean watching to see if matter gets better. The way to healing is to see that our true identity as God’s spiritual idea is already perfect. We’re not material. And so matter, which claims to be our identity and to make conditions for us, is actually just an impostor. As long as my goal was to make better matter, I was working from a mistaken basis and was assured of failure.