Spiritual growth clears up annoyance and pride

After a weekend of yardwork, a rash developed on my legs, arms, and hands. This experience prompted prayer and some shifts in my character.

The morning after this yardwork, I was praying and recalled an article I’d read titled, “Getting the full benefit from Christian Science treatment” (Corrine Jane Teeter, Sentinel, July 26, 1975). The author wrote that often, a person who wants relief from some physical or emotional challenge calls a Christian Science practitioner asking for prayerful treatment just for a particular symptom. But, she went on, there’s so much more that we can (and should) expect to get out of a healing. We can expect helpful spiritual truths to not only heal us but make us thoroughly new as we pray for guidance from God. 

Students: Get
JSH-Online for
  • Every recent & archive issue

  • Podcasts & article audio

  • Mary Baker Eddy bios & audio


It was with this in mind that I contacted a Christian Science practitioner, not only seeking healing from the physical challenge, but also open to uncovering any error, or mistaken beliefs, about myself or the situation in general. 

When I contacted a friend who is a practitioner, she shared that there are no annoying elements in God’s creation. That really struck me. As I thought about this notion of annoyance, I realized that if all is truly good, and the kingdom of heaven is here and now, as Christ Jesus taught, then there’s really nothing to be annoyed by. What I was being healed of was the belief that I can be separated from the love of God even for an instant or be tempted to be annoyed by something or someone. 

Another idea that was helpful was that there is no sensation in matter. It is spiritual sense that informs our thoughts, feelings, and knowledge. We can truly feel only the wholeness and harmony of Spirit, God, Love. 

I’m grateful to say that I never felt itchiness with this rash. However, as a few days went by, the rash was still there. As eager as I was to be rid of it, I became even more eager to eradicate any unwanted beliefs suggesting that I could be separated from the love of God and from loving others. One of my favorite Bible stories has always been Jacob wrestling with the angel, especially the part where Jacob wouldn’t let the angel go until the angel blessed him (see Genesis 32:24–30). Similarly, I wanted to learn all I could and let this healing be a blessing. 

My practitioner friend had also shared the idea that no harm could come from a pure desire to help my home and family; I’m not being “attacked” for my hard work. It occurred to me that there are no “arrows” and no “shooter” because God’s all-goodness precludes the possibility of there being anything discordant in His kingdom. I’m participating in God’s good, and that’s all that’s going on. 

At one point, inspired to pray with the Lord’s Prayer, I got no further than the opening line, “Our Father which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). When I looked up references to heaven in Concord, an online concordance to the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s writings, I came upon the definition of Jerusalem in Mrs. Eddy’s book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Mortal belief and knowledge obtained from the five corporeal senses; the pride of power and the power of pride; sensuality; envy; oppression; tyranny. Home, heaven” (p. 589).

What stood out to me was “the pride of power and the power of pride.” As I wrestled with this concept, I had to ask myself if this was an opportunity to be healed of pride in addition to any tendency to be annoyed. 

I recalled two situations at work in the previous week that I had approached with a bit of self-importance. As I admitted this, I knew God was working in me to move me from a more limited sense of myself as marked with pride toward becoming a new man—more humble and a better listener. 

These, to me, were evidences of the chemicalization that was occurring in my experience. Science and Health describes chemicalization as “the process which mortal mind and body undergo in the change of belief from a material to a spiritual basis” (pp. 168–169). All of this was occurring within a week’s time, and still the rash had not disappeared, but it was impossible for me to argue that healing wasn’t going on. I knew better.

Finally, something Christ Jesus said spoke to me: “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them” (Mark 7:14, 15, New International Version). I understand from this that purifying our thoughts and behaviors is essential for Christian discipleship. This was in line with what I had been praying about all along.  

About a week after the rash appeared, it went away. I was so glad, not only for the physical healing but also for the fact that annoyance and pride had been brought to the surface to be replaced by love and humility. The proof of healing I’m most happy to bear witness to is the evidence of God’s tender, loving care for all of us, as shown in the grace among my colleagues when we interact with one another and the deep gratitude I feel for this experience.

For Teens
The shaking stopped
November 4, 2019

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.