MY FRIEND LOUIE had a parrot named Pipo. They were good friends, and Louie would often say to him, "You have a big nose!" Soon Pipo began imitating Louie, repeating in the same tone of voice, "You have a big nose! You have a big nose!"
Every time somebody walked into Louie's home, the parrot would call out, "You have a big nose!" Some people would stop and smile, in sort of an embarrassed way. They'd think the parrot was talking to them. Some would touch their nose to check it for size. Some, even though they knew it was just a parrot talking to them, secretly wondered if what the parrot was saying might be true. I even think that some people, when they got back home, might have hurried to a mirror, while others might have asked everyone around them what they thought of their nose!
Louie's dad, mom, and sister all heard Pipo telling them every day, "You have a big nose!" But they knew it wasn't true. And when they'd had enough of listening to it, they would simply say to Pipo, "Be quiet now." And Pipo would be quiet.
I've noticed that I sometimes hear another kind of parrot talking to me that wants to tell me things that aren't true. Things like: "You're sick! You're bad! You're stupid! You won't be able to do that!" Etc., etc. I discovered that when I believe everything this "parrot" tells me, I get very unhappy. This keeps me from doing exciting things, or learning something new, because I think I can't.
But then I remember Louie's parrot. And I ask myself: If Pipo were to tell me, "You have a big nose," would I be unhappy? Of course not. Because I know it's not true. And in the same way, when that other voice says, "You're sick, you're bad, you're stupid," I know that's not true, either. Because it doesn't come from God. The truth that comes from God is always good, because He loves everybody. He is totally good.
This is what God says to me: "You are My loved child. You are My perfect image and likeness. You are spiritual. You shine with health, joy, peace, gentleness, understanding, and beauty." God speaks only about goodness, about what's good and perfect.
In the Bible, it says, "I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people...." Ps. 85:8. When I open my heart wide to listen to God, I don't hear anything but Him. He's my Mind. He's always giving me beautiful and good thoughts. They help me succeed at whatever I do.
This is a translation of an article that originally appeared in the French Edition of The Herald of Christian Science.
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