Freedom from false suggestions
Staying alert to and refuting false suggestions by holding the allness
of God firmly in thought facilitates healing.
We learn from the Bible that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, and that God’s laws overturn anything unlike Love, God. These laws are reliable, all-good, and all-powerful. Recognizing them and applying them to our situation, we can prove that we have God-given authority over anything that seems to oppose the divine power, which is completely good and refutes all that is evil.
In order to demonstrate this dominion, we must not ignore evil, but instead detect and address its arguments through prayer. Christian Science teaches that the divine Mind, God, is the consciousness of good, of Truth and Love, and when we know and affirm our unity with this Mind, we can identify negative suggestions, no matter how subtle, and recognize them as false and powerless. Addressing them specifically not only dismisses evil but thoroughly destroys belief in it by revealing God’s laws.
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Neglecting this prayerful work may slow down a healing. But staying alert to and refuting evil suggestions by holding the allness of God firmly in thought demonstrates wisdom and watchfulness, and facilitates healing.
So what are some of the common mental arguments that would mislead us and derail our efforts to find healing?
False suggestion #1: It’s personal
Often, arguments in thought that would oppose healing suggest, for example, “I can’t get over this bad trait because it’s part of me.” Or, “OK, this spiritual idea might be true, and other people might understand it, but I can’t or don’t understand it.”
Every time a thought about something good or right includes the words “I can’t,” this is a sure sign that it isn’t from God. As we are prayerfully alert and watchful, we see how impersonal and repetitive these suggestions can be. But they are no part of who or what we are. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, shows that our spiritual identity includes no evil. She writes, “Man’s genuine selfhood is recognizable only in what is good and true” (p. 294).
False suggestion #2: We are victims
Another suggestion might be that we are a victim of injustice—that we have been treated unfairly and so must suffer because of someone else’s sins. But what’s actually true is that we are God’s loved child, governed by divine laws of goodness, justice, and love. As the Bible says of God, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face” (Psalms 89:14). Even in the case of significant challenges resulting from injustice of some kind, we can overcome ill effects by learning more about our true, spiritual status.
False suggestion #3: There is a cause outside
A similar claim sounds something like this: “This problem stems from when this or that bad thing happened to me.” Basically, this suggests a cause or effect outside of God.
To counter this notion in prayer, we can consider that, in reality, God, good, is the only cause and God’s manifestation or expression the only effect. When it feels as though there’s a cause or effect unlike God, we can remember Christ Jesus’ promise to his disciples: “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:19, 20).
Divine Love lights the way and guides each of us in overcoming unhealthy thoughts and suggestions.
False suggestion #4: There is something bigger and more powerful than divine Love
If we’ve been praying about something for a long time, we may be tempted to think, “I will never be able to overcome this; it’s too big and has been going on for too long!” That would suggest our problem is bigger or more powerful than God. Yet, God is infinite and all-powerful Life, Truth, and Love.
False suggestion #5: I don’t know enough
The notion of something evil, something unlike God, being present and undetected in our thinking may also suggest that we don’t know enough about Christian Science to overcome it. Staying alert to what thoughts we let in, we begin to recognize that thoughts of doubt, inferiority, or discouragement, or of being left out of God’s allness, are foreign to us. In reality, each one of us is at one with the all-knowing Mind, God, who gives us what we need to know when we need to know it. And all we can truly know is the good that God knows.
False suggestion #6: There are other influences besides God
It’s helpful to know that the divine Mind is truly the only influence on our thinking. We are forever one with this Mind as its cherished idea, out of reach of false suggestions. The Bible says we have the mind of Christ, and Science and Health refers to Christ, or “God with us,” as “a divine influence ever present in human consciousness” (p. xi).
Even when something else seems more powerful than God, the fact is, we have the ability to recognize God’s ever-present love as the only authority and influence over us.
False suggestion #7: Error, the opposite of divine Truth, is real and can’t be dissolved
We certainly will face many false suggestions in our daily experience. But prayer reveals the allness of Love ever at work. And even the suggestions that seem the most rigid and intimidating can be overcome through divine Love, even if it sometimes requires great persistence. In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy indicates that Love is a “universal solvent”—meaning, it can dissolve anything, even “the adamant of error,—self-will, self-justification, and self-love,—which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death” (p. 242). Love has dominion over any false argument, no matter how common or hidden it seems to be.
A senior friend of mine had a fever and felt that she would pass on. To comfort her, her family encouraged her to become reacquainted with the Christian Science teachings she had learned as a child.
As she prayed and had prayerful treatment from a Christian Science practitioner, it became apparent to her that rehearsing negative thoughts and ruminating over them was not her thinking. They were untrue suggestions disguised as her thinking, pulling her attention toward death and away from Life, God. They argued that this challenge was unique to her, unfair, and too complex for her understanding of Christian Science, and that her identity was a compilation of material elements and traits. In other words, the suggestion was that God wasn’t All. Once these subtle arguments were uncovered through prayer, my friend clearly saw that they didn’t come from God, and therefore were not her thinking, and were untrue. With that, she felt confident in God and His love for her. Quickly, the fever and fear of death left, and she gained a better understanding of Life as God. She and her family expressed gratitude for the good unfolding in her experience through her renewed study of Christian Science.
Divine Love lights the way and guides each of us in overcoming unhealthy thoughts and suggestions so we can feel the dominion that results in healing.