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Losing labels, finding ourselves

From the April 20, 2020 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Mother, female, American, Christian Scientist—all these labels might describe someone. But do they? They may conjure up generalizations or assumptions, but they don’t encompass the wholeness of spiritual individuality, which we can come to see as our only true label. As one of this week’s feature articles, “Relationship status: Loved by God,” states, focusing on dropping limiting human labels about ourselves and others can help us find freedom and healing. 

The foundation for understanding that each of us has a spiritual identity is understanding the true nature of God, divine Principle. Spiritual individuality, as Christian Science shows, is the divine nature of our spiritual being. It doesn’t fluctuate, and it is not at the mercy of personality, heredity, or past experiences. Understanding our spiritual individuality makes us see the truth of our being—it peels off the layers of what appears to be a material, mortal existence to reveal the beauty of what we really are and always have been. 

Our spiritual individuality is a perfect likeness of God’s being as divine Love, or divine Principle. The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, explains, “The infinite Principle is reflected by the infinite idea and spiritual individuality ...” (p. 258). Just as there is nothing we can do to stop the profound, immeasurable, inexhaustible love of divine Love embracing humanity, there’s no harsh experience that can change our spiritual individuality. 

Christian Science acquaints us with spiritually real existence, which frees us from a materially unreal view. Principle is the name for God that describes the origin and governing law of spiritual creation. This Principle and law constitute a provable divine Science, which is the basis for spiritual reasoning that lifts us from a limited, material perception of ourselves to an understanding that each one of us is irreplaceably unique. When we focus on “fitting in” with a particular group or identify with a certain label, we can miss the uniqueness we have to offer. 

Christ Jesus’ teachings in the Bible emphasize our worthiness to be loved by God. In every healing Jesus was proving to the individual his or her native worth. Being loved by God doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want and it doesn’t matter because we’re loved anyway. The divine Love that is God impels us to live as if we know we are loved, which breaks us out of actions to “fit in” or conform to a label. It enables us to accept only our one true, God-given label—that of being the spiritual expression of God’s being. And then we find unlimited ways to contribute what is uniquely ours to do.

Jesus’ clear perception enabled him to see the true identity of each individual, an identity that had no relation to external labeling.

In every healing experience I’ve had, there’s been a need to lift off a label. Sometimes it’s just “injured,” while other times it’s related to a certain illness, age, body type, or personality trait. Yet the sufficiency of God as Love, operating in our lives, uncovers and destroys these false labels. Divine Truth replaces a limited identification with a deeper, spiritual sense of the boundless possibilities of our spiritual individuality. And healing is the result.

There’s no law that says we are bound to hold ourselves hostage to superficial assessments or broad generalizations, and we experience healing and progress when we lift thought above human labels to infinite Principle, God, as our foundation, life, and identity. When we do this, labels no longer seem so impressive, or stick to us as a primary reference point for knowing ourselves. As we know and understand the nature of God as divine Principle, Love, and identify ourselves as God’s likeness, we discover the beauty of our spiritual individuality. This opens thought to new views of our true identity as healthy, innocent, and free; and our experience changes for the better. 

When we exchange limiting human beliefs for higher, spiritual laws, we are following the teachings of Christ Jesus. In his healing mission, Jesus identified with his and our divine source. His clear perception enabled him to see the true identity of each individual, an identity that had no relation to external labeling. This correct view healed—transformed the physical condition. Science and Health explains: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick” (pp. 476–477).

As we accept only the one true label about ourselves and others—that of our spiritual identity as the unlimited expression of divine Principle, Love—we’ll find more and more that it is natural to release false labels, and then they simply fall away.

Larissa Snorek
Associate Editor

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