What Really Defines Us – CSMonitor.com
When we have been faced with a physical or mental challenge, we may feel that illness has become our identity. But that’s not who we are.
Increasingly, public thought recognizes that not every disease we may face defines us. “I’m not my disease,” wrote Patrick McNamara, Ph.D. He continued: “… maybe one of the best things we can do for each other [is] remember that we are not reducible to a disease … “
We don’t need to accept that a disease or problem defines us. But it’s more than just dissociating a material problem from a material view of ourselves. Instead, it is about letting our thinking constantly be directed towards full acceptance that we are so much more than what a physical body – a sick or even a healthy body – presents. It starts from a completely different basis – that we are in fact fully spiritual and complete children of God here and now.
Based on the Bible, Christian Science teaches that man (the true spiritual identity of each of us) is made in the image and likeness of God the Spirit. God is quite good; God did not create disease and does not send it. Therefore, each of us is in reality the manifestation of all of the qualities of God, including health, strength, agility, and purity. This expression of divine qualities defines us.
Mary baker eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, came to this conclusion after studying the Bible in depth, seeking the truth about God and man, and seeing how this understanding of God and his creation heals. She wrote in her main work, âScience and Health with the Key to the Scripturesâ: âAll reality is in God and in his creation, harmonious and eternal. What he creates is good, and he does everything that is made. Therefore, the only reality of sin, sickness or death is the terrible fact that unrealities seem real to mistaken human belief, until God removes their disguise â(p. 472).
The fact that each of us is created as spiritual offspring of God is the understanding that Jesus repeatedly confirmed in his healing ministry. When he and his disciples saw a man blind from birth, the disciples tried to figure out who was to blame. They seemed ready to accept that this condition, this “disguise” defined man. But Jesus said, “Neither this man sinned, nor his parents, but the works of God must be manifested in him.” This understanding dispelled the belief in the reality of disease and man’s sight was restored (see John 9: 1-7).
Jesus demonstrated Christ – the healing truth that each of us is in fact the expression or reflection of God. Eternal Christ, the Truth, removes all disguise – such as sin, fear, discouragement, lack, mental illness, or physical illness – by showing that these evils were never created or sanctioned by God. This divine action, transforming thought, reveals the spiritual man created by God – holy, perfect, healthy and invulnerable.
During part of my early years in high school, I would wake up sick every morning. It was quite an ordeal getting dressed and going to the bus stop. I never told my parents about it because it didn’t sound serious, just very boring. In this case, I also felt that I wanted to learn how to demonstrate the healing power of prayer for myself. I took a long bus ride each morning and spent that time praying – confirming in thought that no disease or fear could hide the perfect identity I had as a child of God. This time of spiritual discovery included silently singing hymns to myself and feeling the love of God.
By the time I got to school every day, I was fine. This continued until the Christlike understanding of God and my true identity completely rid me of the disguise of disease. Not only was I completely healed, but I also felt much closer to God.
This type of healing is available to all of us. As we understand our relationship with the Divine as beloved children of God, we awaken to the unceasing care of God, to divine Love, to our inseparability from that Love, and to the truth of our being. God continually expresses perfection in his spiritual creation.
As we live from this base, sickness, fear, loneliness, disappointment, etc. do not seem to be the defining measure of our lives. Instead, we see more clearly, and increasingly evident, our true identity as a child of God – happy, well, loved, loving, and at peace.
Adapted from an editorial published in the October 25, 2021 issue of Christian Science Sentinel.