Does it really matter that I exist?

In discovering our true worth, we need never settle for less than our Father's loving assessment of us.

When I was growing up, I was always being told that I looked just like my mother. People sometimes even addressed me by her name! I began to wonder if I was really important as myself, or if I would just always be like somebody else. It wasn't that I didn't like my mother—I just wanted to feel that I was needed for my own qualities. I knew that my family loved me, but I wondered if it would make any difference to anyone else if I just disappeared from the face of the earth. Did I have a purpose in life?

At the time, I thought that I was the only one in the world who had ever struggled to find a sense of self-esteem, and I didn't think that there was anyone who could help me. However, from a very young age I had been attending a Christian Science Sunday School, and I felt sure that by learning more about what Christian Science teaches, I could learn to be at peace with myself.

One of the most important ideas that Christian Science teaches is that man is not what the physical senses say he is. The real man is seen most clearly in the example of manhood Christ Jesus lived. Science explains that our real selfhood is the spiritual idea of God, created in His image and likeness, as the Bible says. A particular sentence in Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy helped me understand why God needs His idea, man. It reads, "God, without the image and likeness of Himself, would be a nonentity, or Mind unexpressed." Science and Health, p. 303. God as divine Mind needs man to express His intelligence. And God as divine Love needs man to express His lovingkindness.

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May 28, 1990

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