Honesty is like a well-wrapped present. To discover what it has to give us, there’s some investment involved in getting us past what we see at the surface. It’s certainly more than some ethical ideal about not telling lies. Consider how often we’ve seen someone’s frankness move the conversation along to a point that’s perhaps initially uncomfortable, but which turns out to be rather helpful. Honesty that is motivated by faith in truth and love of others, when unwrapped and understood, can deliver big blessings.
One obvious benefit of honesty is the freedom from shame that it brings. For example, admitting a mistake proves better than dealing with the shame of feeling that we need to lie because our lives can’t stand up to the circumstances we find ourselves in. And as we consider some of the situations in our world today, where individual, corporate, or governmental corruption and deception have led to broken relationships, ignored rights, or distrust among nations, we come to understand more of the need for and benefits of honesty.
Humanity is going through changes. Troublesome elements in human thought, which have been hidden or unresolved, are increasingly coming to the surface. And it’s the touch of God’s healing Christ that’s doing this. It’s the nature of the Christ to uncover and destroy error, and to bear witness to what is true. Christ refers to God’s spiritual ideal that is seen in man and the universe, and its effect on human consciousness and experience is to uncover and destroy error, and to bear witness to what is true. The holy man Simeon indicated the healing mission of Christ Jesus was that “the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed,” while Jesus himself indicated we should be ready to have it all laid bare: “There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed” (Luke 2:35 and 12:2.)
So, there’s stuff that needs to be uncovered. Regardless of the form this “stuff” takes, in its essence it is the multifaceted, material thought of life apart from God. And this multifaceted “error,” as Christian Science terms it, must be acknowledged and corrected for there to be great healing for humanity. In keeping with the healing mission of Christ, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “A knowledge of error and of its operations must precede that understanding of Truth which destroys error, until the entire mortal, material error finally disappears, and the eternal verity, man created by and of Spirit, is understood and recognized as the true likeness of his Maker” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 252).
It takes spiritual honesty to embrace the uncovering process so as to find healing. The Christian Scientist’s approach to evil or error cannot simply be a sweeping assertion that it’s unreal. To heal error is to trust the exercise of Christ’s healing power, which moves us not to dishonestly avoid but to honestly identify and then disarm and see through the errors that are stirring in consciousness. “Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help. You uncover sin, not in order to injure, but in order to bless the corporeal man; and a right motive has its reward” (Science and Health, p. 453).
Honesty is more than a factual standard that makes human consciousness uncomfortable with its inconsistencies. Behind the honesty that uncovers error is a penetrating, healing love that sees the unreality of the error. Just the same, the love that knows error’s unreality leads with a penetrating honesty that exposes what needs to be seen as unreal. Let’s embrace this love. It’s imperative to our well-being that we express it. And let’s be sure to find how kind it is in the way that it works. It’s not about self-righteously forcing some uncovering of deceit in ourselves or our neighbor. The honest healer puts the onus on himself to take a sincere look, or thousands of looks, at the truth, to learn what constitutes the Godlike man—and then finds the willingness that’s needed to identify himself and everyone as this Godlike man so that, as the Christ uncovers and removes the false beliefs, everyone our lives touch can feel the healing of it all.
How do we do this? At the very least, we cherish in our view of everyone more of that actual goodness, which includes health and which has no place for shame but the deepest peace. It’s to cherish on our part an attitude of looking to find how to better honor the spiritual man or woman who, if we’re truly being honest, is the only us there is. There can be a stir of thought in the process, but the result is wonderful.
About five years ago, I had a step of progress with this. I came home from church one Sunday hungering to better honor the true man. And oh did I find a deeper commitment to strive within myself to do this! Then within an hour, I developed a terrible headache and soon after, some painful blistering on my forehead and scalp. I saw it as a result of uncovering something. But that insight wasn’t enough to bring myself immediately to the point of healing. After a few days of prayer, though, I came to let go of some feelings that I was something separate from God and capable of being a cause for anything good or bad. Within an hour of finding a new world of peace, I felt completely well. I felt like a new man. I also found myself at a better place as a healer.
It’s our destiny to break through whatever hides the fact that God is the only cause or power. And thanks to a revolution in thought that took off with Christ Jesus, and has been forwarded through Christian Science, we are coming closer to seeing this present, spiritual reality. We might meanwhile see some of that “stuff” surfacing that troubles us, but the Christian Scientist, striving to behold the spiritual reality, will separate the deceptive mortal thinking, which is foaming at the surface, from the real integrity within God’s man.
Belief in the reality and power of matter and many minds is what foams or boils off. In order to truly see the spiritual and whole man, such belief must go. And Christ will enable this through our honest devotion to seeing through anything that could obscure the goodness that God has already established in all His children.
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