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Seven names to consider

From the January 2021 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Stuck to my refrigerator with a magnet is a precious scrap of paper with seven words written in a childish scrawl. When my granddaughter learned to write, her Sunday School teacher asked her to list the seven Bible-based synonyms of God found in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Whenever I’m praying diligently about something, I lean on these powerful words that clarify God’s nature: Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, Love.

One day it came to me that in Christian Science we have seven terms that are commonly used for man (meaning the true, spiritual selfhood of each one of us). They define our individuality, as God created it: image, likeness, idea, representation, reflection, expression, and manifestation. Each of them highlights our loving relationship to God and hints at a selfhood inseparably linked to the Supreme Being.

Pondering these terms helps us get beyond the mundane facts by which the world identifies us, such as those details listed on one’s driver’s license: date of birth, gender, color of eyes, height, address, etc. Likewise, the summary of one’s hobbies, talents, and life accomplishments, however positive, is a human view that would leave one vulnerable to ailments or limitations associated with age, environment, and fluctuating circumstances. So what’s the higher view? 

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