We have a lot in common

No matter what the appearance, there is a strong and appealing basis for loving one another.

I Remember how I felt when a girl in my high-school class grabbed the back of my collar, turned it inside out to read the tag, and went giggling off with her friends. I wasn't wearing a brand name that was considered "cool." Brand names had become, and often still are, a kind of shorthand for determining those with whom teens want to associate. As people mature, they probably see how superficial such standards are. But without realizing it, many of us practice the same kind of "appearance discrimination" in other ways.

While I may not care about people's brand-name clothes, I have often allowed things like the style of clothes, accents, hairstyle, age, social status, to color my thinking about whether I might have something in common with another. It has become more and more clear to me that by doing so I exclude, not others, but myself from rewarding relationships. What is needed is a spiritual understanding of what is real and important in our identity.

The Bible reveals God as Spirit and man as His likeness; so we have authority for claiming that identity is spiritual. It may take some effort to grasp this, because we're accustomed to being impressed by material facades. But the truth of man's wholly spiritual nature must be accepted before we can rise higher in the understanding of real identity. As man's nature as God's reflection becomes clearer to us, we see the need to understand more of Him to learn what is true of His image. Through prayer, a study of the Bible along with Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy, as well as daily effort to live what we learn, we can expand our understanding of God—of His wisdom, love, purity, perfection. And we rejoice in claiming these qualities as our own because we are actually God's expression, showing forth His nature, glorifying Him.

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What has influence?
January 17, 1994

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