AFTER an unfortunate remark, have you ever thought, ``That wasn't like me''? You were right! -- at least in a deeper, spiritual sense. God has made man in His image and likeness; your true nature is harmless and kind. Man is patterned after his Maker and must be spiritual and perfect as God, infinite good, is.
Where did the bad remark come from if not from you? I once saw a bumper sticker that read, ``The devil made me do it.'' When we remember that Christ Jesus told us that the devil is ``a liar,''1 that humorous excuse can show us a way to avoid saying things we later regret.
Since God is almighty, His opposite, the devil or evil, must be proven powerless, without authority, in our lives. God exposes evil as a lie and renders it harmless -- without any power to influence us. So, whichever side of the ``name-calling'' we've been on, sooner or later we can recognize that we ``didn't mean to say that.'' Forgiveness can follow as we realize just a little of our true being as the likeness of God. Then evil can be seen as a lie about man's native goodness.
Striving to be more loving and kind means watching our thoughts, recognizing evil as no part of the real man before it takes hold in action. When we humbly surrender to God, the divine and only Mind, He strengthens us to cast out the bad word right now -- before we speak it. This is a spiritual discipline direct from God, and it is ours to claim when we honestly understand ourselves as the children of the wise and loving divine Father. We have Christ Jesus' example to show us the way.
Really knowing the omnipotence of God removes evil's pretense to reality. Even when only one individual senses this truth, healing forgiveness is possible, confirming the power of God as infinite Love.
The Bible's strong statement of God's allness assures us that God and His love are much closer than we thought. The wonderful tenderness He bestows can be reflected in our own daily deeds of mercy, wisdom, and love, which help to dispel the clouds of anger, fear, and sorrow. The more we recognize ourselves and others as God's spiritual image, the better we can understand that hatred of any kind has no foundation or reality because it is no part of God. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``In obedience to the divine nature, man's individuality reflects the divine law and order of being. How shall we reach our true selves? Through Love. The Principle of Christian Science is Love, and its idea represents Love.''2
Seeing ourselves as the expression of God, divine Love, brings a promise of harmony. We become less concerned with ourselves and more able to express kindness to others as we feel God's care. His power is never vague or distant, but always at hand to bless us. As we accept this comforting assurance, we have a more loving life to share and a clearer view of our neighbor -- and ourselves -- as God's own likeness.
What a relief it is to know that hurtful words do not belong to God's likeness and can be discarded, destroyed, and prevented in the light of His loving truth!
1John 8:44. 2Miscellaneous Writings, p. 104.
You can find more articles about spiritual healing in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.