Being 'the fruit of the Spirit'

We find ourselves to be the outcome of God.

From the time I was very young (knee-high to a grasshopper, as they used to say in the American Midwest), I have been familiar with the answer to the question “What is man?” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 475). I learned it in Christian Science Sunday School. But I never feel I’m familiar enough with it, and I’m always discovering more of what it means to be “the compound idea of God, including all right ideas.” 

In fact, recently I counted in the full answer at least 19 references to man as idea, reflection, image, or likeness. In particular, I was struck by how clearly man is defined in Christian Science as God’s idea—the idea of the divine Mind. It also stood out to me that this means man is not the one doing the thinking so much as the idea being known or expressed by God, the one divine Mind.

It takes some considerable humility to let the full implication of this sink in. What does it mean that we are not the source of our thinking but the expression of God—His thoughts and representatives? Well, for one thing, it implies that we are not really the ones with the responsibility for figuring things out, which also means that we’re not the ones who get the credit for personal accomplishments. We’re the effect of the cause, and we embody, are made up of, what the King James Version of the Bible calls “the fruit of the Spirit.” The International Children’s Bible words it this way: “The Spirit gives love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

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God gathers up your talents for His glory
March 20, 2023

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