A fresh look at possibilities for good

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, May 4, 2017.

The approach that is changing lives in Haiti (see editorial on facing page) indicates that the potential for good and success is inherent in everyone. My understanding of this inherent goodness has deepened through the study and practice of Christian Science.

Christian Science teaches that the true nature of everyone is completely spiritual and good. This is based on the premise that God, the divine Spirit that is infinite good, has created each of us as His image and likeness. This means that our spiritual identity is not limited by human opinion, education, environment, or past mistakes.

Christ Jesus healed and changed lives by showing others that their divine nature had always been incorruptible and inseparable from God. With a deep awareness that, as God’s children, each of us has been given the full measure of goodness, he was able to say, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

An example of this is the Apostle Paul. For me, his story has always been a shining light of the power of God to show us our capabilities for good no matter how buried they seem.

Saul, as he was called before his transformation, was consumed with so much hate for those who followed Jesus’ teachings that he felt it was his mission to wipe them out. Saul’s anger and self-righteousness, along with the actions that sprang from them, were brought to a halt one day when he had a revelation telling him of his real purpose to bless.

This revelation was the eternal Christ, the message of God’s limitless, all-powerful love for each of us, that always speaks directly to us. It must have revealed to Saul something of his real identity as entirely good, because it led to his transformation. His name was changed to Paul, and he became a key figure in Christianity through his writing, preaching, and healing works.

Humbly speaking of himself, he said, “Whatever I am now it is all because God poured out such kindness and grace upon me—and not without results: for I have worked harder than all the other apostles, yet actually I wasn’t doing it, but God working in me, to bless me” (I Corinthians 15:10, The Living Bible).

No one is excluded from the reforming message of God’s love. It guides us into the spiritual understanding of our true being, and this shows us how to love both ourselves and others—changing lives and bringing healing. God can create only good.

“A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms,” writes Mary Baker Eddy (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 128).

Prayer is more confident when it’s based on the understanding that everyone’s goodness is established by their relation to God. Evil can’t penetrate the presence of God, who is all good, any more than darkness can enter where light is shining. As we embrace this spiritual understanding of ourselves and others, we naturally contribute toward reformation, usefulness, and progress.

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, May 4, 2017.

August 14, 2017

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