Today’s trend toward a more holistic approach to health care—one that goes beyond just treating symptoms—has resulted in an ever-widening choice of paths to healing. Yet the so-called “natural” methods, such as diet, exercise, and meditation, are based on the same premise that underlies traditional medicine—that man is essentially a material body with a mind inside. And this is a premise that the teachings and works of Christ Jesus empower us to question.
The good news is that the healing method that saves mankind from sin, disease, and death is here. It came two thousand years ago when Christ Jesus declared, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth” (John 18:37).
Except for a brief period of healing by his disciples, the Master’s method of healing by the divine Spirit was largely lost sight of for another 1800 years until Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery of Christian Science, firmly based on the Bible, challenged the materialism in the popular systems of science, religion, and medicine. After years of trying various healing arts, she discovered in the Scriptures the Mind-healing she had been so diligently seeking, which solved the problem of being and afforded humanity the means of salvation from sin as well as sickness.
In the Christian Science textbook, Mrs. Eddy writes: “Which was first, Mind or medicine? If Mind was first and self-existent, then Mind, not matter, must have been the first medicine. God being All-in-all, He made medicine; but that medicine was Mind. It could not have been matter, which departs from the nature and character of Mind, God. Truth is God’s remedy for error of every kind, and Truth destroys only what is untrue. Hence the fact that, to-day, as yesterday, Christ casts out evils and heals the sick” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 142–143).
In particular, the teachings of this Christ Science help humanity understand the effective healing work of Christ Jesus, based on the premise that man is spiritual. We can attain the harmony we seek through Christ, Truth—the idea of God that impelled Jesus’ unparalleled healing work—and according to the Discoverer of Christian Science, we will all find this path sooner or later.
In her writings, Mrs. Eddy uses the phrase “sooner or later” 14 times, indicating that all will eventually come to the realization of this divine Truth as the most potent and profound healing and saving power. Speaking of God, she says, “Sooner or later all shall know Him, recognize the great truth that Spirit is infinite, and find life in Him in whom we do ‘live, and move, and have our being’ …” (Christian Science versus Pantheism, p. 13).
Health isn’t a condition of matter; it is a condition of the divine Mind, God.
So, if we’re all going to get to this path eventually, can we play a part in getting there? Absolutely! We can each decide for ourselves to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. To follow his example and do the works that he did, we must consistently gain in our understanding of, and obedience to, his commandments and precepts. As we do, we will come to understand that material modes of healing tend to lead us away from the pure Christianity that actually brings the healing we desire.
“To seek or employ other means than those the Master used in demonstrating Life scientifically, is to lose the priceless knowledge of his Principle and practice,” Mrs. Eddy writes in Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896. “We cannot depart from his holy example,—we cannot leave Christ for the schools which crucify him, and yet follow him in healing. Fidelity to his precepts and practice is the only passport to his power;…” (p. 270).
Christian Science teaches that health isn’t a condition of matter; it is a condition of the divine Mind, God, who created all spiritually. Matter contradicts Spirit, claiming to usurp Mind’s sovereign power by asserting that health is governed by material laws. “These two contradictory theories—that matter is something, or that all is Mind—will dispute the ground, until one is acknowledged to be the victor,” we read in Science and Health. And it continues: “Science says: All is Mind and Mind’s idea. You must fight it out on this line. Matter can afford you no aid” (p. 492).
So, what can help us in this fight? I have found three things very helpful in keeping me on the path to demonstrating that Mind is superior to matter in every case:
Know what healing is. If we think healing is merely getting rid of a material condition, then we will find it difficult to reach our goal. Healing isn’t about changing sick matter into well matter. It doesn’t start with an ailing mortal and attempt to perfect him. Healing prayer starts from the truth that God is perfect and that man is already the perfect child of the one God. It is a process of one or more timeless moments of seeing man as God knows him—wholly spiritual.
“You can never demonstrate spirituality until you declare yourself to be immortal and understand that you are so,” Mrs. Eddy explains. “Unless you fully perceive that you are the child of God, hence perfect, you have no Principle to demonstrate and no rule for its demonstration” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 242).
Declare the end from the beginning. Christian Science healing starts with God and ends with God. If we start with the problem, we are starting with an incorrect premise, that matter exists and has power. An incorrect premise will always lead to an incorrect conclusion. Wondering where or why sickness exists is looking for the origin of evil. There will never be an answer to that search, as evil does not exist as a reality in divine Science. It is merely a misstatement, a misconception of the truth.
State, rather, what God says is true—that you are His perfect image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26)—and understand this to be so. In this way it will be manifest humanly, as the Bible shows us over and over again. When a Shunammite woman’s son died, it reports, she quickly set out to find the prophet Elisha. He saw her approaching and sent a messenger to her asking, “Is it well with thee?… is it well with the child?” (II Kings 4:26). Contrary to the material evidence, she answered, “It is well." This was her way of acknowledging her trust in God. And Elisha raised the boy back to life.
Understand that challenges aren’t punishments. Challenges are opportunities to lift thought to God and prove His ever-present goodness. When you are sure of the truth of your perfection as a child of God, but don’t see the evidence, that is not the time to give up! It is the time to go up higher. When some challenge presents itself, it’s not helpful to wonder, “Why me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” God does not send challenges our way; but since it is fresh insights into God’s nature that resolve challenges, we can ask, “Father, what great blessings are You about to bestow on me through an increased understanding of Your love?” That will bring about a very different result—the healing everyone is looking for.
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