I was introduced to Christian Science as an adult and immediately endeavored to embrace its teachings and way of life. At the same time, I frequently shared a work shift with a person I didn’t like. I thought she was gruff and unpleasant. I felt guilty about my unchristian thoughts and knew that harboring judgmental feelings toward anyone isn’t conducive to happiness or healing, so I turned to God.
Thankfully, as I prayed, God gave me the insight to see that with God’s help I could do something about the situation. Even if I couldn’t change my coworker, I could change the way I thought about her. I knew that one of the primary guidelines of Christian Science is the Golden Rule: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12). This means that we are to be charitable to everyone without exception.
I reflected on the life of Jesus, who loved everyone, even those who had clearly sinned, including those who crucified him. Loving, for him, was natural and all-inclusive.
How did Jesus love everyone? I wondered.
How did he do it? I wondered. How did he sincerely love those who seemed, at least on the surface, so unlovable and who were so unkind—even hateful and cruel—to him? An answer that came to me was that Christ Jesus clearly understood we are all, in reality, wholly spiritual—beloved, pure, and godly beings, one with God, good.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, encapsulates Jesus’ perception and the effect it had on others in these words: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 476–477).
This spiritually advanced view of humankind, so clear to Christ Jesus, is vividly illustrated in the account of the transfiguration. Jesus took his followers Peter, James, and John to a mountain and was transformed before them, so that “his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light” (Matthew 17:2).
The next time I saw her, my perception had completely changed.
The radiance of divine Life was clearly seen in Jesus. In that pure, spiritual state, I realized, just as there is no illness or sadness, there are no feelings of ill-will or judgmental attitudes—only all-encompassing, all-embracing, pure love.
So how did this insight into the transfiguration influence my feelings about my coworker? I realized I had been judging her for the way she appeared to me, instead of seeing her true nature as God’s perfect child, a spiritual being who was fine just the way God had created her.
The next time I saw her, my perception had completely changed. I couldn’t believe I had missed seeing how kind, patient, caring, and fun she was. What a transformation of thought! From then on, I looked forward to working with her, and I learned a great deal from her example and expertise.
This lesson early on in my study of Christian Science stuck with me, and it has been an ongoing blessing for which I am grateful. I’ve been happier, because following God’s command to love one another is a key to happiness and offers freedom from guilt. A kinder, more spiritual view of others has resulted in healings, because the truth of being was more readily recognized and accepted. Plus, I have met wonderful people I might have ignored or dismissed, and my life has been enriched by the goodness they expressed. Finally, all-inclusive love is essential to my service as a Christian Science chaplain corresponding with inmates in my state’s institutions—a job I love.
While it is not necessary to become friends and agree with every person we meet, it is important to remember we are all equal and perfect in God’s eyes. Perceiving that enables us to better emulate Christ Jesus, view others with less judgment and more love, and feel greater unity and peace of mind.
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