What are you believing?
We have the God-given ability to choose Truth and to direct all of our love and faith to the one God who made all things.
Every moment, we are consciously or unconsciously choosing what to believe in—what to admit as real or true. The human mind tends to accept the evidence of the physical senses as truth. These senses insist that material existence, with its mix of good and evil, sickness and health, life and death, is the fact of being. They give no evidence of the existence of God as infinite Spirit or divine Love.
On the other hand, spiritual sense—ever present and active—gives us something the world cannot: God’s view of reality. The Bible says it this way: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Corinthians 2:9, 10). This implies that the evidence of the material senses is false and that what spiritual sense tells us is true. Mary Baker Eddy writes in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “What is termed material sense can report only a mortal temporary sense of things, whereas spiritual sense can bear witness only to Truth” (p. 298).
What happens when what we believe does not correspond with the proven facts of a given situation? It doesn’t cause a problem for the facts, nor do they become less factual, but it can cause problems for us. For example, if you had an appointment to meet someone but were given the wrong address, you would miss the appointment. You might suffer in some way through acting based on information that was untrue. Getting accurate directions to the correct address and then following them would solve the problem. When thought shifts from falsity to fact, we always benefit.
We are profoundly affected by what we choose to believe.
The consequences are even greater when, on a deeper level, the beliefs we hold about life are not in agreement with the “great spiritual facts of being” (Science and Health, p. 546). Christian Science reveals that these great spiritual facts are derived from God, who is Truth itself. These facts are unchanging, eternal, and universal. They are absolute. We do not create them and cannot change or destroy them. They are not affected by whether we believe them or not.
We, however, are profoundly affected by what we choose to believe. Like crowning a king, we might enthrone an untrue belief, giving it authority to rule us. Then, we serve this belief through our thoughts and actions. The Apostle Paul warns, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).
The freedom to choose what we believe is precious. Equally precious is the wisdom to choose rightly. Christ Jesus, our Way-shower, explains that the rightful occupant of that throne is always Spirit, never matter: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19–21).
In the textbook, Mrs. Eddy explains how what we choose to believe affects our health. She writes: “Unless the harmony and immortality of man are becoming more apparent, we are not gaining the true idea of God; and the body will reflect what governs it, whether it be Truth or error, understanding or belief, Spirit or matter. Therefore ‘acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace’ ” (p. 324).
One spring evening, I experienced this. I had attended a wedding and enjoyed the reception with good food, music, and dancing. Afterward, on the car ride to a relative’s home, I began to feel nauseated. I was tempted to believe that all that food plus all that dancing had been a bad combination, to accept an apparently plausible reason for this discomfort. The discomfort increased, and by the time I got to the house, I felt pretty bad.
All the while, though, I was listening for any messages God had for me. That was when one of those “great spiritual facts of being” came to thought: All good is spiritual and comes from God and therefore cannot be reversed. This meant to me that the good experienced that day was loving and right; it was a God-given blessing that must remain a blessing and could not be turned into a cause for suffering. This made perfect sense to me, and the nausea immediately disappeared. All was well.
What happened? The belief that something good could turn into something bad had been replaced and overruled by the fact that all true good is of God and is beneficial and irreversible. The false belief had been dethroned, and the law of God, good, was there in its place. Right away, I experienced this law of harmony in control and governing both thought and body.
When our thoughts and perceptions are in line with Truth, God, we experience the harmony that belongs to God. If we accept a belief that is contrary to God, Truth, we experience suffering, as Science and Health points out: “It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony” (p. 390).
Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The more we allow God, the one true King, to occupy the throne of our consciousness, the more strength, joy, and freedom will be evident in our lives. There is only one God, one everlasting King ruling us and the universe—one Truth that rightfully claims our whole heart. We have the God-given ability to choose Truth and to direct all of our love and faith to the one God who made all things.