The divine influence
Today it seems there is a feeling of fear going around about “catching” the flu. Immediate help is found in what Christian Science teaches about the divine influence and how it protects us from disease. In her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy—whose experience as a healer proved her words—is emphatic about what disease is and what it is not: “Disease is not an intelligence to dispute the empire of Mind or to dethrone Mind and take the government into its own hands” (p. 378). Talking about what disease is, she says, “It is fear made manifest on the body”(p. 493). From this we see that disease has no ability on its own to influence or attach itself to us since it is, in reality, without intelligence or power.
As Mrs. Eddy explains, the human body is not cause but effect, and it will reflect whatever is governing it. Given a choice between matter-based human fear (which may be expressed as influenza) and the spiritual influence of divine Truth (manifested as health and harmony), we can exercise our God-given dominion to reject ungodlike, fearful thinking and its unhealthy effects on the body.
Sickness may seem to be real, but it is only the effect of a mistaken notion about what is true.
What is fear, anyway? It is only a mistaken belief that there is some other power besides God. When we become conscious of reality—that there cannot possibly be infinite God, good, and something else called evil—we will know and feel only the divine influence with us at every moment. This presence is more powerful than any human or physical influence could ever be. Our health is maintained by God, and this is proved as we understand and accept that Truth’s divine influence is supreme—ever present, entirely good, maintaining us perfectly as Truth’s expression.
Through the study and practice of Christian Science, we learn that, in reality, God’s creation is never sick because God, who made us in His image and likeness, is not sick (see Genesis 1:26, 27). When human thought is in line with this divine law of cause and effect—perfect God and perfect man—we see it is inconceivable that we could be helpless victims of disease. Under God’s government there can be no cause whatsoever for discord. In Science we recognize that because we abide in God and are inherently in accord with Him, with infinite good, there is nothing to fear. Sickness may seem to be real, but it is only the effect of a mistaken notion about what is true. The truth is, there is no sickness in God, so there is none in us.
As Mrs. Eddy makes clear, we have divine authority for taking a stand against anything discordant: “Because man-made systems insist that man becomes sick and useless, suffers and dies, all in consonance with the laws of God, are we to believe it? Are we to believe an authority which denies God’s spiritual command relating to perfection,—an authority which Jesus proved to be false? He did the will of the Father. He healed sickness in defiance of what is called material law, but in accordance with God’s law, the law of Mind” (Science and Health, p. 168). We can absolutely refuse to accept influenza as having any place in our thought, experience, or body. Knowing that the will of God is eternally good and loving, we can reject suggestions of contagion on the ground that they are ungodlike. Instead, we can choose to live under the divine influence in which is no influenza or any other disease.
Our health is maintained as we understand and accept that Truth’s divine influence is supreme—ever present, entirely good, expressing and maintaining us perfectly.
Here’s what the Scriptures say about such choices: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). In choosing Life, we are choosing divine Truth’s influence; we might think of it as our prayer of Truth. This is the same Truth Jesus demonstrated and promised would set us free. So when it seems that there’s a lot of fear in the world about contagion, we can act in accord with what Science and Health tells us about standing by our good decisions: “When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious—as Life eternally is—can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not” (p. 495). God’s truth about us—our eternal health and harmony—is intact. This truth is reliable, and we can trust in it.
We can all claim immunity from disease and demonstrate our health by acknowledging and yielding to the complete control of God’s government, always in operation as infinite good. We live eternally in the ever-presence and protection of God. For one who may appear to have become ill, he or she needs only to turn wholeheartedly to God to feel the divine ever-presence, experience peace, the freedom from fear and suggestion of illness. Speaking of physical healings in Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy writes: “They are the sign of Immanuel, or ‘God with us,’—a divine influence ever present in human consciousness …” (Science and Health, p. xi).
Christian Science teaches that we can control ourselves harmoniously. How? “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously,” says Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 392). We should always be alert to what we’re accepting as true because we are sure to receive it in our experience. Let’s, then, choose health, the eternal truth of man’s spiritual being as the beloved child of God.