At that point, my parents said we either needed to call a Christian Science practitioner or go to an emergency room immediately. I asked my mom to call the practitioner. Because I was raised in Christian Science and had attended the Christian Science Sunday School my whole life, I knew and held to the following laws:
1) I could never be separated from God;
2) I could never fall from God’s love; and
3) divine Mind was and had always been in control.
The practitioner shared the absolute spiritual truths with my mom that it was impossible for me as the idea of God to be injured, and that the only cause of anything in my life was God—which precluded accident or injury.
I was not correcting an imperfect situation, but realizing my perfection.
The next day I talked with the practitioner directly, and he shared something that has remained vivid in my mind. He asked me to imagine I was looking for a book on a desk in a dark room. To find the book in that dark room, all I had to do was turn on the light. Turning on the light would not create the book; it would just reveal its location. I understood this to mean I was and am already perfect, but I just had to turn on the light—eliminate the darkness of what the material picture was trying to say—to reveal my perfection. With this thought in mind, I was able to go to school that day.
—In your family, or among friends or acquaintances—are you thinking somebody’s not doing the right thing, or making the right life choices? Are you being judged yourself?
In the Bible, Jesus used strong words to defend minor breaches in Mosaic law: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). And he provided some great examples. On one occasion he said boldly: “Why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye” (Matt. 7:3–5, New Living Translation).
The message is clear: Be aware of your own failings before you judge anyone else. If you do this, you’ll be brought to a point of humility where you won’t be so quick to jump on another’s shortcomings. Often we do this to make ourselves look better. But if we hold to a standard of perfection set by God, we won’t have to compare ourselves with others to validate ourselves. Right judgment stems from the way we see ourselves in relation to God. If we see ourselves as God’s loved children—already whole and perfect—then we must see others in the same way.
This doesn’t mean we gloss over another’s dubious behavior. We are required to see the speck in our neighbor’s eye. But our duty then is to help remove it prayerfully—with love, compassion, and a deeper understanding of our shared relationship with God. Sometimes, for example, in our roles as parent or teacher, friend or colleague, it’s important to honestly, frankly, and lovingly address mistakes and take a stand for what is right, so that those mistakes won’t be repeated in the future.
What would the world be like if there were less destructive criticism? Much of what causes people to fear others would disappear.
That destructive criticism is a falsehood about the person being criticized is often pretty apparent. Rarely is criticism that’s motivated by envy or hate reasonable or accurate. But perhaps more important, such criticism is also a falsehood about the person doing the criticizing.
Further study of Christian Science explains why this is so. God made man in the image of Himself, divine Love (see Gen. 1:26, I John 4:16). Actually, the loving child of God could never be prompted by jealousy, fear, or anger to see his or her brothers and sisters in anything less than the light of love. Therefore any appearance of a person indulging in destructive criticism must be a falsehood about God’s creation.
To understand and hold to this fact can bring healing. As Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Holding the right idea of man in my mind, I can improve my own, and other people’s individuality, health, and morals; whereas, the opposite image of man, a sinner, kept constantly in mind, can no more improve health or morals, than holding in thought the form of a boa-constrictor can aid an artist in painting a landscape” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 62).
This lesson is illustrated in the book of Genesis (Chaps. 37-45) in the story of Joseph. Because Joseph was his father’s favored son, his older brothers’ critical, envious attitude toward him turned to hate, and they arranged to leave Joseph in a pit, eventually selling him into slavery. But Joseph didn’t respond with revenge, and his predicament led to circumstances that ultimately helped him, his fellow countrymen, and even the brothers themselves. Joseph’s response to the criticism and hate directed at him proved the destructive attitudes to be false and powerless. This response healed the entire situation.
Fear and the economy
—With precarious conditions in today’s world economy –
Christian Science Monitor
With precarious conditions in today’s world economy – especially in the United States and Europe – uncertainties create underlying fears. For anyone who is deep in debt, perhaps with a family and a precarious job position, the economic climate must be unnerving. And my heart goes out to them, for I’ve certainly had my share of tight situations.
But I’ve learned many lessons over the years about managing finances and supply. For one thing, even if things seem dire, there is always a way to move forward successfully. Through my study of Christian Science, I’ve come to understand God as the underlying Principle – called Love – which bases all our activities, including the economy. The operation of this Principle can be likened to the world of mathematics, which is entirely mental, but whose laws and rules are ready to be used wherever we are. As I see it, each individual is intimately connected to Love and the economy it governs because our underlying spiritual nature derives from Love. Over the years, I’ve appreciated this statement by Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science: “Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 307). I’ve found this to be true in my experience but as with any new concept, we make it our own only by using it.
Block about 40 minutes to be still and listen to this lecture if you have some free time.
It is about facing down mental ambushes such as hate, fear, doubt. I add homophobia.
The message that has come several times to me in the past few days is that a sense of hate doesn’t belong to us and is not attached to us because we are the pure, loved idea of God.
And if this is true for us then it is true for everyone. A belief of hate, fear, or even homophobia can’t attach itself to a person if you stand and uncover it as a lie. It has no power because it didn’t come from God or good.
This is what would have saved Jamey Rodemeyer (see CS Monitor article cited earlier). A simple lesson but life saving.
Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.