The inherent intelligence and ability of children

It is refreshing to hear that two American women representing opposing political parties may agree on an approach to education that views children in a new way (see editorial on facing page).

Speaking of the generic term man—including all men and women—Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “We know no more of man as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 258). To me, this means that in order to view children in a whole new light, we must take a deeper look at God.

The Bible repeatedly refers to God as the source of intelligence. In the book of Psalms, we read, “The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (33:11). From the inspiration that came through her study of the Bible, Mrs. Eddy defined God, in part, as “… the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; …” (Science and Health, p. 587). Recognizing God as the all-knowing, all-wise creator of each individual, we see that every one of us already has and can increasingly express the understanding of God, or divine Mind.

Solomon became king at a young age. In a dream, he lamented to God, “I am but a little child: … Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart” (I Kings 3:7, 9). Solomon had the wisdom to turn to God, his divine Parent. Later it is recorded that “he was wiser than all men” (I Kings 4:31). It was clear that God was the source of Solomon’s wisdom.

We, too, can recognize God as the source of intelligence. This became apparent to me after I failed my first test in college. In praying about it afterward, I realized that I didn’t need to somehow cram everything I learned into my limited understanding. Sure, I needed to study and come prepared for each class or test. But even more important, I needed to spiritually understand the source of my true intelligence and abilities. This gave me confidence throughout my years as a student, whether I was taking an exam or praying about how to pay for college. It did away with doubts about whether I had enough intelligence, money, or time. By acknowledging God as my ever-present guide and boundless source of good, I was led to understand all I needed to know and do in a timely fashion. I even graduated with high honors.

Christ Jesus pointed to the truth that God is the source of intelligence when he said, “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30). As the image and likeness of infinite and unlimited divine Mind, each of us reflects the qualities of God in discernment, creativity, and ability. Children can recognize this, and parents and those who love and work with children everywhere can acknowledge, cherish, and nurture these qualities.

Mrs. Eddy wrote, “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis” (Science and Health, p. 258). Keeping this fact in mind opens the way for specific, practical means to find the right path. It sets each of us free to broaden qualities we already possess and develop new ones through the infinite resources of Mind.

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, August 22, 2016.

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, August 22, 2016.

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