Is health a gift that some of us have been given and others haven't? Or is our well-being the result of our spiritual relationship to God?

I Never give or receive a gift without thinking of a relative who stored away all the gifts she had received for dozens of Christmases, birthdays, and Mother's Days. After she had passed on, we found them in her closets and bureau drawers. She'd apparently unwrapped them, looked at them, and wrapped them up again in their bright paper and ribbons, packing them away for the future. They were hers by right, but she'd never used or enjoyed them. I've had to ask myself, Do I really use the gifts I've been given—especially the most momentous, precious gift of all time, the love of God, which Christ Jesus has shown to all mankind. Speaking of what Christ Jesus did, the book of John declares, "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12, 13.

In a commentary on this passage, Mrs. Eddy asks a thought-provoking question. It has made me see this gift of love in a wholly new light: "Is man's spiritual sonship a personal gift to man, or is it the reality of his being, in divine Science?" Miscellaneous Writings, p. 181. After all, the Bible tells us that God created man in His image. If we are in reality God's image and likeness, we have a spiritual inheritance; we reflect the purity, wholeness, and indestructibility of Deity. The possibility of reaching this understanding of our real nature, and being healed by it, is what Jesus, our Way-shower, has given to us by his example and demonstration.

In answering the question quoted above, Mrs. Eddy comments: "When we understand man's true birthright, that he is 'born, not ... of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,' we shall understand that man is the offspring of Spirit, and not of the flesh; recognize him through spiritual, and not material laws; and regard him as spiritual, and not material. His sonship, referred to in the text, is his spiritual relation to Deity: it is not, then, a personal gift, but is the order of divine Science." Ibid.

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July 20, 1987

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