`The way I'm made'

``I'VE always been like that. It's just the way I'm made.'' We've often heard this or a similar remark. Perhaps we have made it ourselves as an excuse for some failing--procrastination, lack of punctuality, forgetfulness, untidiness. It is easy to justify ourselves in this way and to hide behind the justification. On the other hand, we may feel sad and disheartened because of some shortcoming and come to the conclusion that it is useless to try to overcome it because it is so ingrained in us. And so we confine ourselves within a particular framework and don't make any attempt to break out of it. But there is no need to limit ourselves. The Bible tells us that God made man ``in his own image.'' 1 It also teaches us that God is Love and Spirit; that He knows all things; that He is unchangeable, merciful, a God of truth. God's image must express the love, intelligence, truthfulness, constancy, and strength of the divine nature. The excuses we make for our deficiencies, for the inadequacies that plague us, are not based on fact but on a misconception of our real selves. But we can grow out of this misconception by learning about our true selfhood. In Proverbs we read that as a person ``thinketh in his heart, so is he.'' 2 Knowing ourselves to be the image of Love, we'll naturally be more loving and kind. Identifying ourselves as the likeness of Spirit, we'll find that our thoughts and actions will be more spiritually based, expressing even greater purity, strength, integrity, and so forth. As we get to know more about God, we discover that there are no gaps in man's c haracter, and that we need not, therefore, be loving but impractical, intelligent but unable to communicate, patient but clumsy. All the attributes derived from God are available to be expressed. There is no need to feel that we are stuck with being tongue-tied or untidy or lacking in grace. We can begin to see that these failings are merely impositions put upon us by false education, which would have us accept limitations from our earliest days. Caged wild animals have been known to continue to pace around the confines of a cage even after the cage has been removed. We need not be like that. We can begin to question the validity of the universally held belief that we are limited mortals imprisoned by all the restrictions of material existence. God's man is immortal, given dominion by his creator. When we open our thought to this truth and begin to feel it in prayer, we find unsuspected abilities within ourselves, and ways to express new gifts and talents open up. We no longer close the door on new experiences with the words ``I've never been any good at that.'' If we are obliged to assume new responsibilities, we need not fear that we will be unable to cope with them. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states reassuringly in Science and Health wit h Key to the Scriptures: ``A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms.'' 3 All of us are free this very day to enter these ``broader and higher realms''--not through mere positive thinking but through an understanding of our actual nature, of our true selfhood, as God's likeness. We can prove that God has endowed us with all the qualities we need. 1 Genesis 1:27. 2 Proverbs 23:7. 3 Sci ence and Health, p. 128.{et

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