There’s often an inflection point in a movie where a would-be hero struggles with a feeling of inadequacy. Then, through some insight, that thought shifts. The hero becomes convinced they can do what needs to be done, and good triumphs over evil.
In the practice of Christian Science, good triumphs over evil without the drama accompanying Hollywood heroics. But finding healing in the way the Science of Christ teaches does involve a shift in our thinking. Not by convincing ourselves that “I can do this” but through letting Christ, the true idea of God exemplified by Jesus, show us what God has already done. That is, through accepting the idea that we are that “male and female” made permanently spiritual and whole in God’s image, as the Bible states (see Genesis 1:27). Referring to this, the textbook on Christian Science healing says, “The admission to one’s self that man is God’s own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 90).
What an amazing thing—to be set free from self-consciousness to see ourselves as the likeness of God, who is all good. That means grasping that everything true about us is good, reflecting God’s harmony, purity, and joy.
This doesn’t mean ignoring health conditions, personal behavior, or emotions that suggest the opposite. But to admit to ourselves this amazing truth that we are God’s own likeness lifts thought from what is, or even seems, wrong in our lives to glimpse, and thus begin to master, the infinite idea of the spiritual man and universe that exude God’s goodness. As we do so, changes take place. It might result in identifying and shedding a long-standing fear, gaining fresh insight into our unique purpose, or relinquishing some unwholesome character trait.
When we fully grasp what Godlikeness consists of—such as steadfast peace, joy, wisdom, and health—it would seem crazy not to admit and consequently prove what we spiritually are. Yet we can feel great resistance to doing so.
The admission that we are the likeness of God restores health, purifies our hearts, and brings to light our Love-bestowed worth.
This resistance to what is good and true played out most vividly and instructively in the life of humanity’s Way-shower, Jesus. Even more than admitting to what is real, he knew his immortal sonship and that of others, with the result that multitudes were healed of sickness and sin. Yet he was subject to a wholly unjust crucifixion. Even in the face of that extreme opposition to his spiritual ministry, he held to man’s Godlikeness, praying for God’s forgiveness of those crucifying him. His resurrection was the outcome—priceless proof that all that resists good must finally give way to the reality of that divine goodness.
In the case of Jesus, the resistance wasn’t in the Savior himself. But even if it feels as though the resistance we face is our own thinking, it’s always a mental imposition, and it must give way as we follow in Jesus’ footsteps and stand for our own and others’ divine daughterhood or sonship in thought, word, and deed. As another of Mrs. Eddy’s writings states,“The Scriptures require more than a simple admission and feeble acceptance of the truths they present; they require a living faith, that so incorporates their lessons into our lives that these truths become the motive-power of every act” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, pp. 196–197).
The reality that we all reflect God doesn’t free us from the discords in our experience simply by being true. But a willingness to admit this spiritual fact opens our heart to Christ, which is always present and active in human consciousness. As we turn to God in this way, we still face competing narratives of who we are: Christ’s clear and substantive message of our immortal reality as God’s creation, and the misty materiality whispering that we’re mortals in, and governed by, the flesh.
The question before us isn’t “Which is true?” because our spiritual identity has been and will forever be our reality. The question is whether we will admit that truth to ourselves—not through willpower or positive thinking but through yielding to Christ, which Science and Health defines as “the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error” (p. 583).
The Christly destruction of anything that isn’t Godlike can occur in a moment, as evidenced in the physical healings recorded in the Gospels. At other times, change comes through a series of breakthrough moments, until the fleeting script of the discord we have been facing finally gives way to the scriptural truth that we are that divine likeness, which is how God has always known us.
So, admit it! Underneath it all—whatever the “all” you currently face—you are the precious, needed, glorious likeness of God, who is divine Love. Whether all at once or step by step, this sacred admission restores health, purifies our hearts, and brings to light our inherent, Love-bestowed worth.
Tony Lobl, Associate Editor