You are irreplaceable

We each have an irreplaceable spiritual nature and identity as God’s child, and every identity is essential to the happiness and prosperity of the whole.

Most people have  at one time or another grappled with the fear of being replaced. We hear, for instance, of factory workers who fret about being replaced by robots, mature employees who worry about being pushed out of their jobs by someone younger, those in relationships who are anxious about being dropped for someone more attractive or successful, and others who believe their homeland is being overtaken by immigrants.

The belief that someone or something can replace us or keep us from our rightful place—one we desire or feel we deserve—is no doubt disheartening. If we buy into it, we have fallen victim to the notion that life is material and mortal, that we are all competing for a piece of a limited pie—a certain amount of space, only so many opportunities—and that time is running out.

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In recent years, some of these false beliefs have been purposely stirred up in some countries and promoted in the form of conspiracy theories—such as a belief that there is an organized movement to replace the white majority race with Black and brown people in order to change the balance of political and social power. As such theories have taken root in the consciousness of many individuals, they have promoted fear and hatred, leading in extreme cases to violence, including mass killings. 

As God’s child, you have been given talents that are singular and needed, and there is enough room in God’s infinite universe for their expression.

The idea that anyone can be replaced or displaced has to be challenged, because it is a false belief that suggests that life is material and that we can’t do anything about our circumstances. The Bible’s first chapter presents a contrasting, hopeful picture of life that, unfortunately, tends to be ignored or resisted—one in which God, Spirit, created all and where all that He made is wholly spiritual and good (see Genesis 1:26–31). This means that we each have an irreplaceable spiritual nature and identity as God’s child, His image and likeness, and that every identity is both unique and essential to the happiness and prosperity of the whole. 

This spiritual account of creation is the true narrative—the basis of Christ Jesus’ teachings and healing works and of the practice of Christ’s Christianity. It affirms that we are equals in God’s eyes. No one is over us, under us, better than us, or less than us. We are not in competition with anyone or in a position where our talents can be unappreciated or underutilized. Each of us has a place in God’s kingdom that no one else can take, and what the Father gives to us comes directly to us. No one can intercept the good always flowing to us from God or delay or obstruct His infinite giving. 

Christian Science teaches that, individually and collectively, the family of man represents divine Love, God. Each identity is essential. Therefore, every individual is irreplaceable, distinct, with a character different from all the rest. There is no substitute for you because no one can live your life, be you, or give what you can give. 

Take, for example, the recently retired American tennis great, Serena Williams. Or the renowned Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa. Others will follow their lead or in their footsteps, but no one can ever replace them or express the talents God has given them in the same way. As God’s child, you, too, have been given talents that are singular and needed, and there is enough room in God’s infinite universe for their expression. Each one of us has a divine mission no one else can fulfill that utilizes these talents. 

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, wrote in an autobiographical account: “No person can take the individual place of the Virgin Mary. No person can compass or fulfil the individual mission of Jesus of Nazareth. No person can take the place of the author of Science and Health, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70).

Christ Jesus fulfilled his God-given mission by demonstrating and teaching man’s inseparable relationship to his heavenly Father, the Father of all, saving humanity from the limiting beliefs of the material senses. He showed that to spiritually understand that we are one with God—that each of us has an irreplaceable, eternal relationship to Him, and therefore to one another—heals divides within families and between countries, genders, neighbors, races, coworkers, and so on.  

Christ Jesus looked beyond material markers of culture and race and saw others’ true, spiritual identity.

The master Christian practiced the Golden Rule that he preached—to treat others as we would want to be treated—saying to his disciples, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12). Although he was born to a Jewish mother, his disciples were Jewish, and his ministry occurred in a small Jewish region, he had an expansive healing ministry and mixed with people from various social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. He was motivated by divine Love rather than fear, and he looked beyond material markers of culture and race and saw others’ true, spiritual identity. This enabled him to heal a Canaanite woman’s sick daughter (see Matthew 15:22–28), a Samaritan leper (see Luke 17:11–16), and a Roman soldier’s servant (see Matthew 8:5–13). He understood that each of us is dear to God, and so must be to one another.

What is most needed today is this deeper understanding of God’s invariable love, and the fact that God’s plan of universal salvation includes every individual and nothing can replace His ideas or displace their harmonious arrangement. 

Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 495).

In proportion as we do this, we recognize the brotherhood and sisterhood of man. We more readily love our neighbor as ourselves and see that each person is priceless to God and to each other. In this way, we are contributing to the peace of the world, building bridges between races and nations, and removing the fear that anyone can be replaced. Everything that divine Love has made is forever irreplaceable.

“Such as I have give I thee”
June 5, 2023

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