Do I have to be perfect to have a healing?

Q: Do I have to be perfect to have a healing?

A: If that were true, none of us would have healings! In fact, when I first started studying Christian Science, I was reading the weekly Bible Lesson (found in the Christian Science Quarterly) every day and smoking a cigarette during every one of the six (or more) sections that make up the Lesson. And I still had all kinds of wonderful healings—including eventually being healed of smoking.

I’m happy to assure you that God isn’t judging us to decide whether or not we’re good enough to be healed. That’s because there is an amazing thing about God that I’ve learned about through studying Christian Science—it’s this gift called grace. That means God’s love for each of us isn’t something we earn; it just is. No strings attached. So feeling God’s love isn’t based on whether we do everything right—and neither is having a healing. God simply loves us, and therefore, we can be healed.

So then why try to be good or to do the right thing if it’s not necessary for healing?

To answer that question, it might be helpful to quickly review what healing in Christian Science is—and what it isn’t. Healing isn’t God coming to us from somewhere “out there” and fiddling with our lives to make them better. Healing also isn’t applying a positive thought to a problem in hopes that it will go away.

Healing is really a vision thing. What I mean is, healing happens when we catch such a clear glimpse of God’s love and care for us that nothing can disturb us. We see the reality of God’s perfect universe—that it’s intact, healthy, and safe, and that it includes us.

This view of what’s real does something wonderful: It causes whatever isn’t part of God’s all-good creation to disappear from our experience. It looks like something bad got fixed. But healing is about seeing, recognizing, knowing that there is nothing real but God’s goodness. And this goodness permeates everything—relationships, health, academics, sports. Good is everywhere because God is everywhere. Our job is simply to look at what God is and does, since God is always maintaining it—perfectly.

So, back to being good. Since healing depends on seeing clearly what is actually real, what might interfere with our ability to see what is already true about us?

Feeling God’s love isn’t based on whether we do everything right—and neither is having a healing.

Well, if we have dirt on our metaphorical glasses, we won’t be able to see very clearly. Or, to put it another way, if our thoughts and actions are tinged with badness, our ability to see spiritually will be impaired. Things like dishonesty, envy, gossip, or self-interest will keep us from seeing good. And without seeing good, or God, we are less likely to find healing.

Being good is natural for each of us. At times we get tempted to believe—are maybe even convinced—that doing something we know is wrong can actually turn into a good thing. And, admittedly, sometimes that can seem to be true—at least for a while. But ultimately, acting in a way that isn’t consistent with good keeps us from seeing what is true—namely, our identity as God’s loved creation. And that would tend to stand in the way of healing.

If it seems like healing isn’t happening, we can see if there is anything ungodlike in our lives that is getting in the way of seeing reality.

The bottom line is that we are all worthy of being healed, because our God is Love and can’t do anything but love. But sometimes, if it seems like healing isn’t happening, we can look to see if our glasses need cleaning—in other words, we can see if there is anything ungodlike in our lives that is getting in the way of seeing reality.

Striving to live a good life enables us to see and experience more and more of God’s goodness. And very often this includes healing. The promise is right there for all of us. Pretty cool stuff! 

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