One of the first things a student of Christian Science learns is that God created all that was made and found His creation good, whole and perfect, reflecting Him. It follows that this good creation must include each individual's true identity, and that this identity is a spiritual, incorporeal idea or reflection of God.

A Christian Scientist distinguishes between the spiritual idea of God and the so-called mortal man. He never for one moment claims that a sickly, sinful mortal is God's child, and he knows that there is nothing in the teachings of Christian Science that allows one to condone or harbor error or sin. He heeds Mary Baker Eddy's admonition in her book "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 93), "Bear in mind, however, that human consciousness does not test sin and the fact of its nothingness, by believing that sin is pardoned without repentance and reformation."

He examines self to see if there be any wicked way in him and strives with humility and spiritualization of thought to correct the error of his ways. But this self-examination and need for correction does not imply any excuse for self-depreciation. One should not be misled into believing that self-disparagement denotes humbleness. Disparagement is a form of pessimism, and the Latin root of the word pessimism means "the worst." One of the dictionary definitions of "pessimism" is "the doctrine or opinion that reality is essentially evil." Moreover, it is not conceit to have a right estimate of oneself, for right valuation is place squarely on Godlikeness, which is reflection and which can do nothing of itself.

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August 23, 1952

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