You are important

THERE is only one you, and you are essential to God's creation; it would not be complete without you. The Bible says that God was well pleased with what He made, and that includes each identity in His creation: ``And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.''1 Man was created to express God's nature. So each of us, as a child of God, expresses His qualities in a unique and individual way. Each is highly valued. As Christ Jesus said to his disciples, ``The very hairs of your head are all numbered.''2 Man is not just important to God; he is cherished.

Someone who had good reason to suffer from feelings of injustice and inferiority was the Bible character Jephthah.3 He was a Gileadite who didn't have much of a start in life. The illegitimate son of a harlot, he was a social outcast, tormented and bullied by his half-brothers. So he went away to the land of Tob.

But then the Gileadites were attacked by the Ammonites, and his brothers sent for him to lead them into battle. He was made head of the Gileadite army and subsequently became judge over Israel. Despite his early circumstances, he emerged to fulfill a unique role.

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Each of us has a distinct, God-created individuality, a spiritual identity that is valued and indispensable. And we can prove more and more of that spiritual reality right where we are, even if circumstances seem formidable.

One day I picked up a gift copy of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.4 It captured my attention from the start. It made compelling reading. I began to understand spiritual facts of God and man -- Biblically based truths discussed in the book. I was reminded that it is man's nature to express love, because everyone's true being is the very image and likeness of God, who is Love itself. I saw that each individual in God's creation is precious and valuable, the child of God, a God who bestows His goodness and blessings impartially.

I also started to read the Bible. It came to me forcefully that everything Christ Jesus said about man is the truth. The Sermon on the Mount arrested my attention. It indicated to me that a law of love governs man. I came to see that there are no inferiors or superiors in the kingdom of God. Nobody is unworthy or unloved, nobody is forever lost in sin, addicted to a life of crime, imprisoned in a phys-ical disability, or a victim of any other circumstance.

I read in Science and Health that ``man is spiritual and perfect....'' I read that man is ``that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.''5 Because this is the spiritual truth of man, the un-godlike qualities we might see in ourselves or others are part of a false conception of man. They are no part of his true identity. Man, in reality, has no selfhood apart from God, and this truth can be proved in our lives in practical ways.

We are not in truth, on our own, as we seem to be, struggling with all sorts of limitations, mere specks of dust. Nor are we really in competition with others. The truth is that God is the source of all good and that good is unlimited, universal.

The child of God's creating is not a mortal, a product of heredity or environment, but God's spiritual image. Yes, we seem very much to be products of the flesh, subject to all kinds of limitation. But through a higher view of our identity and its source, we can gain greater dominion over physical circumstances and more clearly see our individual worth. Turning to God in prayer and acknowledging His perfect creation and government of man, we'll gain clearer views of everyone's worth in His sight, everyone's indispensable role in expressing the fullness of the divine nature.

Through study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook my view of myself and others was uplifted to see that we are all important. I saw man in a whole new light. I began to look for goodness and Godlike qualities in everyone and found them. I resolved to love and appreciate my neighbor more. I found joy in living.

Fourteen years have passed and I am still learning more about God and man through daily study. I feel as though I'm on a never-ending voyage of spiritual discovery.

1Genesis 1:31. 2Matthew 10:30. 3See Judges, chaps. 11, 12. 4The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 5Science and Health, p. 475. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth. Psalms 115:15

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