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The power of godly thinking

From the March 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal

“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand” (Psalms 139:17, 18, New International Version).

Knowing that God, divine Mind, is forever communicating to us and that God’s thoughts are revelatory and unstoppable is truly liberating. Our listening to and expressing of these impartations from infinite Mind shape our lives—including our health, careers, relationships, contributions to the world, self-knowledge, and vision for mankind. Giving heed to God’s thoughts determines how we conduct ourselves, speak, worship, relate, learn, grow, and more.

On the other hand, any thought that brings untoward effects, such as confusion, fear, or hatred, is not from the divine Mind. Jesus, the master Christian, spoke of such thinking as originating from “the devil,” whom he characterized as “a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). But we can rejoice in the spiritual fact that ungodly, devilish thoughts have no reality or power, since their origin is not of God, who is the one and only cause. Since God’s thoughts alone are good and real, we need to align our thinking with infinite, intelligent Mind.

Jesus constantly listened for divine Mind’s illuminating ideas, and he revolutionized the world. As a result of his pure, Love-imbued consciousness, he presented humanity with the Sermon on the Mount and many profoundly instructive parables, and left a legacy of countless healings. He understood the inexhaustible nature of God as Life, and this understanding enabled him to demonstrate dominion over death. He also promised his followers that they would do even greater works than he did. We’re all included in that promise, for God has made each of us able to hear Him, understand Him, and obey Him. 

Recently I had an experience that clearly showed the power of listening to and obeying divine Mind. Late one evening, after multiple flight delays, our plane finally boarded and I was seated next to a man who seemed oblivious to everything but his cellphone. I found myself indulging in some very critical thoughts. “Is that all this phone-techie can do? Isolate himself and type incessantly?” 

Thankfully, I caught myself in this useless negativity and quickly changed mental direction. The need was for enlightened thinking that’s expectant of good, not pessimistic rumination. After all, this man was focused and quiet, minding his own business. 

Shortly after my change of thought he turned to me and kindly asked if I’d like him to turn on the overhead light, which was actually just what I wanted. I was touched. But more than that, I was glad to be reminded of how Christly, spiritual thinking can impact the mental atmosphere, including the actions of others.

We began chatting, and he told me he’d been captain of a fire department for the last 27 years. He spoke of the tremendous responsibilities accompanying this position, and he mentioned that there had been more suicides in the past two years than in all his previous years in the department. I saw that he was deeply devoted to his work and to mankind. He was on his way to meet his fiancée and attend a concert. He was very happy. 

Suddenly the man in the seat ahead bellowed, “Be quiet, man!” We were both startled. Soon after, my seatmate stood up and rather menacingly said to the man, “If you want to meet up afterwards and talk in a room, we can do that!” 

Instantly I turned to divine Mind for a peaceful, quick resolution to this outburst. I affirmed that whatever the situation, God is ceaselessly communicating to all of His children and that we, His intelligent ideas, can hear and respond to Him. Soon my seatmate lifted his head up over the top of the airplane seat ahead and said gently, contritely, “It’s been a long and hard day for us all.” 

A wondrous silence prevailed. My heartfelt desire for a Christly solution had been answered. When we landed, the man in the seat ahead made a genuine effort to show peace and brotherhood. His demeanor could not have been more gentle or meek.

The need was to correct negative, defeatist thinking with godly thinking that affirms the omnipotence of good.

This experience bears out a statement made by Mary Baker Eddy in her book Retrospection and Introspection: “The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action” (p. 93). 

Eddy herself was a profoundly enlightened thinker whose dedication to understanding God and our relation to Him led to her discovery of Christian Science, which is based on the teachings and practice of Christ Jesus. She explains this Science in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which was chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as one of the “75 books by women whose words have changed the world.” In the Preface, she writes, “The time for thinkers has come” (p. vii). This is a call to each of us to learn and prove for ourselves the power of aligning our thoughts with God’s. 

I’ve witnessed and experienced many examples of this power since taking up the study of Christian Science. One that stands out happened on a Wednesday evening as I was on my way to church. 

I hurried down the hall of my apartment building to drop off trash before leaving. When I arrived at the garbage disposal room, I had to forcefully open the door, as someone had left three cartons directly in the way. I was quite annoyed. Then, perhaps a bit off balance, I stuffed my bag down the chute and neglected to pull my hand away fast enough. The door slammed and cut deeply into my finger, which started to bleed profusely. 

I charged back to my apartment, washed the wound, and prayed to see that God’s laws of adhesion, cohesion, and attraction were in operation (see Science and Health, p. 124). I mentally insisted that nothing could interfere with being in my right place. The bleeding stopped almost immediately, and I headed off to church with a bandage on my finger.

The next day my finger was swollen and very uncomfortable. I called a Christian Science nurse for aid. She arrived shortly, and her spiritual buoyancy was most comforting. She tenderly and thoroughly cleansed and bandaged my finger, and showed me how to care for the wound myself. Her calmness helped reassure me of divine Love’s ever-presence. 

I called a Christian Science practitioner as well, and she offered helpful metaphysical truths, such as this statement from Science and Health: “The divine Science of man is woven into one web of consistency without seam or rent. Mere speculation or superstition appropriates no part of the divine vesture, while inspiration restores every part of the Christly garment of righteousness” (p. 242).

Soon I began considering how I had allowed pressure, blame, and annoyance to blind me to God’s law of harmony. I knew from experience that anything unlike God can be healed with a clear understanding of divine Spirit, our true creator and governor. The need was to correct negative, defeatist thinking with godly thinking that affirms the omnipotence of good. As I accepted the divine Mind as my only Mind, and its expression as entirely good, the evidence quickly changed, and I had a lovely healing. No scar remains; I do not even know which hand was injured. 

Christian Science instructs us how to heal ourselves and others through godly thinking and Christly living, as Jesus did. Science and Health says, “The prophylactic and therapeutic (that is, the preventive and curative) arts belong emphatically to Christian Science, as would be readily seen, if psychology, or the Science of Spirit, God, was understood” (p. 369). 

The more our thought is at one with our Father-Mother Mind, the more satisfaction, joy, and love we express and experience.

More in this issue / March 2023


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