Discovering our God-given worth

I began to feel a deeper respect for my existence as I learned that I was an expression of God.

Perhaps you know someone who is feeling isolated, yearning for affection, or needing better physical or mental health. That was me at one point in my life. I felt, Why live? Although I had a lovely family, I saw no purpose for my life and wished to die. What came to my rescue was a simple request from my older daughter to attend Sunday School. 

At the time, I was not interested in any religion, especially one teaching that we were all born sinners, which is how I saw Christianity. But I found out that the Christian Science Sunday School shares a very different idea: It teaches children how to defend themselves from the commonly accepted interpretation of man’s origin as mortal, material, and sinful. As I learned more about Christian Science, I found that its teachings reveal the spiritual basis of our identity, whereby we can all defend ourselves from feeling limited, unworthy, or isolated.

At one point in my life I felt,
Why live?

When I started taking my two daughters to this Sunday School, I attended the Sunday services. I also attended the weekly testimony meetings, where I became more familiar with the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. As I was exposed to and immersed in the divine truths in these two books, I was healed of a medically diagnosed heart disorder. 

I began to feel a deeper respect for my existence as I learned that I am an expression of God, Spirit. I began to see my relationship to my true Parent, God, as the foundation of and reason for my existence as well as the Principle I wanted to live by. I also saw the powerlessness of all the reasoning that would appear to justify ending my life. I wanted to live—not only to be blessed myself but also to bless those around me, especially those who were fighting dark thoughts like those I’d had. 

When I see our world facing numerous tragic incidents that threaten and undermine the fundamental human right to live free of want and fear, I ask, What is missing in our world? This answer may sound simplistic, but aren’t we missing that very basic moral law of valuing each other? 

What turned my sense of my own worth around 180 degrees was when I tangibly felt that my real Parent is God, divine Love. God is not bound by any sect or religion, but is the Father-Mother of everyone’s true existence in an infinitely vast, entirely spiritual universe. I have come to see myself not as a Japanese woman born at a certain point in time, but as part of something much bigger than me. I am a spiritual idea of God and am included in God’s infinite, ever-present wholeness.

To grasp this reality I am living in, I am every day encouraged to turn to Spirit, God, to assess through spiritual intuition my own true worth and that of others. Through this practice, I nurture a lasting trust in divine Love and a less self-centered personal love.

Today many feel judged or not welcomed in church. No wonder surveys show that many people admit to believing in God but have lost interest in participating in organized religion.

But judging others and lacking love is not Christian. In naming her discovery Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy meant that it was “compassionate, helpful, and spiritual” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 25). This Science explains what Christ Jesus taught, lived, and demonstrated, which healed the sick and transformed those who felt unworthy. This was the original and ultimate Christianity—full of inspired compassion, helpfulness, and spirituality, which brought and still brings health, peace, and harmony to individuals and our world. 

To those deemed sinful, isolated, or sick, Jesus showed what truth looks like—freedom from limitation and fear. He did this by reminding his listeners of our Father—the Father of all, regardless of race, religious background, gender, or any of the things that would divide us today.

I am a spiritual idea of God and am included in God’s infinite, ever-present wholeness.

Christ Jesus came to remind us of our true identity, based on the creation story recorded in the first chapter of Genesis: We are all children of God, made in God’s image and likeness (see verses 26–28). The prayer that he gave us, the Lord’s Prayer, begins by calling God “our Father” (Matthew 6:9), indicating that God is accessible and universal. That makes it a prayer not just for Jesus’ immediate followers or for those who were later to be called Christians. Rather, this prayer confirms that all are born with an inalienable right to affirm and experience their relationship to their Father-Mother God.

Mrs. Eddy wrote: “As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 165).

This statement has been very meaningful to me. Feeling this worth as we begin to understand our spiritual origin helps dispel from our thought the world’s darkness and fear. This spiritual worth was a gem hidden in my daughter’s request to find her a Sunday School. I gradually started trusting that I was getting to know the truth that Jesus promised would make us free (see John 8:32).

What we learn from God—unconditional love, joy, and trust—we can express to others. As a child is full of joy, expecting to see something new every day, each one of us can expect to see humanity advance into a new world where everyone is respected for his or her worth as the child of God, Spirit, with a uniquely beautiful purpose and divinely bestowed gifts.

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