In my work as a Christian Science practitioner, I’ve found that individuals calling for help often feel that the task of healing in Christian Science is just too big for them—thinking they just don’t know enough, or aren’t good enough—and they’ve become discouraged. My heart goes out to them, and it’s wonderful to see how helped they are when it is gently explained that Christian Science healing isn’t something the human mind needs to become an expert at—that the task of healing isn’t too big for God; it’s a matter of letting God work in them to reveal their natural goodness and to bring healing where it is needed.
The Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus gave his followers as the manner in which to pray (see Matthew 6:9–13), contains this petition: “Give us this day our daily bread.” It’s very comforting to realize that no matter how little or how much we know of the teachings of Christian Science, God will give us the understanding we need today when we give our attention to Him instead of thinking we have to do it all by ourselves. As Hymn 195 in the Christian Science Hymnal says, “Not what I am, O Lord, but what Thou art” (Horatius Bonar).
When I first started studying Christian Science, I wasn’t thinking at all about how perfect I needed to be; I would just curl up in a chair with the two books, the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, to learn about God and His creation. I was a thinker, so I wasn’t by any means ready to accept what I was reading on blind faith. But I let the books speak to me, and each time I did this I would receive some spiritual enlightenment that would stay with me during the day. And healing would come into my day. I was simply thrilled to be learning the good news of God’s perfection and man’s perfection as God’s spiritual reflection. As Science and Health puts it, “The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea,—perfect God and perfect man,—as the basis of thought and demonstration” (p. 259).
Sometimes, when we have been studying Christian Science for some time, it can be easy to forget the simplicity of putting self-concern aside to just let God minister to us when we study and pray. We forget that the Word of God in the Bible and Science and Health is His living Word—and that we can trust Him to give us the understanding we need today.
When Christ Jesus began his ministry, he proclaimed that the time for healing had come, that God is here today to work in us and show us how to live the truth of the Christian gospel. He said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Our identity as God’s perfect, spiritual reflection is eternally established in the divine Mind; and we can conform to it—yield to it—in some measure today and every day. It isn’t a matter of human will or expertise; it has to do with letting God show us what we truly are as His reflection, and accepting that as true right now—allowing divine Love to awaken us a little more fully today to our perfect Godlike identity, work its transformative power in us, and shape our thoughts and actions anew.
And as we go into our day, we can feel confident in following Jesus’ commission to his followers to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Preaching, of course, can come in many forms. But the most important form it can take—the form of preaching that heals as Jesus did—comes in the sanctuary of our own consciousness, where we silently agree with, cherish, and affirm the truth of perfect God and perfect man for ourselves and others.
In reference to Jesus’ command, Science and Health instructs its readers to “speak the truth to every form of error” (p. 418). Error is any thought, word, or action that is unlike God as He is, or unlike us as He made us. Error manifests itself in all manner of sin and disease and in death, but since error is untrue, it is unreal, and therefore powerless. It has no mind, because there is only one Mind, the divine Mind, which man reflects.
By allowing divine Mind alone to influence us, we can authoritatively say “no” to error, whatever form it assumes. This kind of prayer, affirming the perfection of God and man, is powerful preaching. It proves that divine Truth, God (who fills all space), is right where error claims to be—that Truth is light, that error is darkness, and that darkness disappears in the light. That takes the supposed mystery—and difficulty—out of demonstrating God’s healing power on any given day. And it shows that you and I don’t have to have advanced degrees in spiritual understanding to bring healing into our lives and the lives of others.
Today, as we study and pray, we can just open our hearts to enlightenment from our ever-present, and ever-loving God. That way, as I’m still finding, we’ll learn something new today, and even if it seems like a modest gain in spiritual understanding, it will be enough for today. We can go forth into the day, our “world,” reflecting the power of divine Truth and Love that brings healing, by loving and being true to what we do know of God, and by loving and being true to ourselves, and to others, as God made us and loves us.
I love sharing these ideas with others. And it makes me so happy when I hear someone say “I can do that”—and they experience healing. That’s my hope for you, too.
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