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God's all-inclusive goodness

From the May 1998 issue of The Christian Science Journal

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Joy, tenderness, health, boundless good, a complete sense of family—every true and cherished element of life is included in God, divine Mind, and expressed by man. Therefore man, Mind's spiritual idea, its image, is never excluded from good. Every aspect of genuine, spiritual being is truly divine consciousness, eternal Mind, Love, Life, expressing itself and proclaiming, "I am here!" Mary Baker Eddy, in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, says: "The universe reflects God. There is but one creator and one creation. This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected."Science and Health, pp. 502–503.

Man cannot be excluded, even for a moment, from any good by the belief that he is mortal, for man is spiritual. Believing oneself a turtle does not make one a turtle. While thinking ourselves to be a turtle we might not experience a swift rate of travel, especially if we get caught on our back. But never once can we be a turtle. We might suffer the effects of this silly belief, but soon enough the limits of this belief would force us to rise up and be ourselves.

Christ, the true idea of God, which Jesus fully expressed, awakens us to our right to rise up to our inclusion in God's goodness. No one needs to watch on the sidelines feeling incapacitated and excluded. Our native spiritual sense shows us that health and other qualities of God are inherent in our being despite the belief that we live in matter. The claim that man is separate from good is really a lie of the carnal mind.

Not even the death of a loved one can actually separate us from good. Any seeming separation can impel us to look beyond the limited concepts of life in matter and to recognize that the spiritual qualities of beauty, holiness, and love are never confined in what appears as a mortal personality—no matter how lovable. These qualities reside in Mind and are forever expressed. Because this is true, the tangibleness of conscious love and goodness is always with us; we discover such qualities in consciousness when we turn to God, Mind, instead of matter.

Just as a cloud hides the full brightness of the sun, mortal concepts may sometimes obscure our view of a loved one's spiritual individuality. Whether these loved ones are with us or not, we can grow into the spiritual altitude where we discern them in their true, eternal light. At the mount of transfiguration, Christ Jesus revealed to a few of his disciples the real, eternal nature of Moses and Elias.See Matt. 17:1–3. With the recognition of man's immortality we can utilize God's law of all-inclusive goodness and lift from our thought the belief of mortality and its tendencies to exclude God, good, and so help others.

Christ Jesus' knowledge of God's goodness was tangibly evident, as related in the account of the money needed for payment to the tax collectors.See Matt. 17:24–27. Jesus told Peter that he would find a coin in a fish's mouth, and he did. Jesus never felt deprived of anything. His recognition of God's all-inclusive goodness enabled him to prove the eternality and harmony of life and excluded death. Blindness, fever, contagious diseases, yielded before the Master's understanding of man's spiritual wholeness and his oneness with God, the source of all good.

Many have witnessed the atrocities of war, or the conflicts of divorce, or the deterioration of health. But can lingering mental pictures of mortality exclude us from God's infinite goodness? No. Jesus could have felt betrayed by his disciples. Brutally harmed by those who would kill him. But he refused to accept as reality the beliefs of evil and death. And his resurrection revealed the absolute power behind his understanding of God's all-inclusive goodness.

The spiritual power and presence of Mind were felt by one family when one of its members was murdered in her own home by someone who had been recently included in a family Thanksgiving gathering. The family began to see and utilize God's law of all-inclusive goodness. They immediately felt divine Mind's power removing the sense of betrayal, loss, exclusion, and hurt. That which tried to rock their recognition of the true, spiritual nature of man was challenged through prayer. Within each heart Christ was revealing the ever-presence of goodness. God's man, being spiritual, never went through a mortal hell. The family no longer accepted the belief that man ever had been or ever could be deprived of the harmony and goodness of God. Their peace and sense of family were restored. The concept of true family, to them, was now seen to be based in Mind, ever declaring its tenderness and completeness.

There is no law that can exclude us
from true good. In fact, God's law
enfolds us in all good.

Hell, as the Christian Science textbook states, is "mortal belief; ... self-imposed agony ...." Heaven it tells us, is "harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul."Science and Health, pp. 588, 587. As we begin to understand spiritually God's law of goodness, we no longer can accept the mortal beliefs of man's exclusion from "the reign of Spirit."

Growing in the understanding of man's spiritual nature, we increasingly witness more of Mind's law of goodness. It is possible to raise the dying and the dead as Christ Jesus did. But this demonstration depends on great spiritual growth and fully dedicating our lives to God. As we go forward, we can see the alleviation of grief and loss, and rejoice that God's law of all-inclusive goodness is revealed to us more and more as our spiritual understanding increases. The power of spiritual good is spurring us on. Tears are being dried. We are not turtles stuck on our backs! We are Mind's eternal ideas, divine Mind's dynamic self-expression.

There is no law that can exclude us from true good. But there is a law of God that enfolds us in all good. And this law is in operation right now. It is enforced by divine Principle, Love, and is bathing us with the impress of heaven and true tenderness. Nothing can hinder, block, or retard our living in God—experiencing Mind's goodness right here and now. Each of us can know, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."Ps. 23:6.

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