In general, the world thinks of man as striving toward God, being rewarded for good behavior and penalized for bad behavior, commonly called sin. Christian Science teaches that our relationship to God is actually very different from this.
To be sure, it is possible to see a connection between good or bad actions on the one hand and our well-being on the other. But behind those occurrences there is always the question of how well we understand the real nature of God and man as His spiritual image and likeness. For it is precisely in the coincidence of our thoughts with the divine that our lives express divine harmony. And in the degree of our fear or other behavior that is not Godlike, we exclude ourselves, in belief, from the dominion and presence of good.
What then is the difference between these two views: divine punishment on the one hand and our exclusion of ourselves from the harmony of the divine presence on the other? Behind the first-mentioned view of punishment lies the human notion of a deity who is conscious of evil and of mortal man's misconduct and then makes a reckoning of it. Behind the second lies the realization that Principle, divine Love, radiates all good at all times. It is unchanging and inexhaustible, just as the sun shines on the just and the unjust without discrimination, and no one is excluded from its warmth and light.
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