To Learn What We Honestly Are

THE title of a new book that came across my desk the other day is a remarkably bold assertion: You Are Your Blood Type. And the back cover enthusiastically proclaimed: choose the career that's best for you...and reach the top! really understand your mate reap the rewards of financial success avoid needless conflicts and misunderstandings use your personal strengths -- for greater happiness, wealth and success! What's the ``secret''? A new theory that is being used by a number of Japanese corporations in an attempt to increase productivity. From the type of blood a person has, the theory draws a broad profile of various personality traits.

It all gets a bit tiresome after a while. Some New Age astrologer says we are what cosmic energy makes us. An ``expert'' claims that we are our biorhythms. Or that DNA determines what we are.

Many thoughtful people aren't satisfied with such assumptions. Intuitively people feel that there has to be more to who they are.

Isn't it really the spiritual nature of our being that we feel needs to be taken into account? The Bible declares, ``There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.''1 And wouldn't this basic connection with God -- the fact that divine Spirit is our true creator and that we actually express His nature -- then be the central point we should begin to acknowledge more fully in order to learn who we really are?

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, answers the question ``What is man?'' from a radically spiritual standpoint. ``Man,'' she states, ``is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect....''2

The more we learn of this spiritual selfhood and then endeavor to demonstrate it, the more liberated we find our lives becoming. Sickness, lack, sin, the confinement of not having purpose in life -- all of these find healing answers in the prayer and self-examination we bring to this profound spiritual discovering.

And the self-examination is vital, for it's difficult to conceive of divine reality breaking through into our lives with all its light and promise if we're not striving to put aside old, false tendencies of character. As Science and Health counsels, ``We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are.''3

So much of the ministry of Christ Jesus was devoted to helping people understand their relationship to God and discover who they were. When he healed and taught, there was fresh promise given to people's lives. Men and women began to find themselves in finding God.

We don't have to settle for less than what God has made us to be as His pure likeness. You are not a blood type, or a star chart, or a complex genetic code. You are the child of God. Discovering this spiritual reality lets us see what we honestly are, and it lets us accomplish everything good that God would have us accomplish.

1Job 32:8. 2Science and Health, p. 475. 3Ibid., p. 8.

This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the April 24 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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