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Fuller understanding of grace brings physical healing

From the October 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal

One winter about 15 years ago, I was struggling with an illness that someone referred to as walking pneumonia, although it was never diagnosed. I had dealt with severe winter colds before, and I had been healed through my own prayers in Christian Science. In this case, however, because the problem had continued and I was becoming progressively weaker, I asked a Christian Science practitioner for help through prayer.

I was in regular communication with the practitioner, and she shared many healing ideas with me from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The thought I found most meaningful at the time was the idea of God’s grace. She pointed me to the definition of a Greek word translated as grace in the New Testament: “the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible). That idea was so meaningful to me. I loved thinking through all of the aspects of grace, using the dictionary and looking up citations in the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s writings.

The secular definition of grace makes it seem like a pleasant quality, but removed from a “divine influence.” Nonetheless, being gracious in our interactions with others is certainly a manifestation of God as Love, and being graceful in all of our movements is a worthy goal. A more religious dictionary definition is “the free and unmerited favor of God.” This wasn’t quite clear to me. Because God created man in His image and likeness and, furthermore, declared that everything He made was good, then didn’t this man (meaning me, you, and everyone) merit God’s favor, giving him health and well-being?

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