Can We Really Overcome Faults?

SOMETIMES it can seem as though faults are a permanent part of us. We may feel we must simply accept various faults and learn to live with them. We may think, "Be realistic. You're imperfect and can't change, so face it. But is it truly realistic to view evil as a fundamental part of reality? An entirely different view of reality and of realism was shown by Christ Jesus. He taught his followers, Matthew records, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. How could Jesus expect people--and even his closest disciples had been ordinary people--to be perfect? Because his understanding of reality went far deeper than the surface appearance of material, imperfect, mortal men and women. Jesus, the very Son of God, knew that all, in reality, are the offspring of

God, Spirit, and therefore spiritual and wholly good. He wasn't fooled by the deceptive testimony of the material senses, and this made him the most truly realistic person who ever lived. His spiritual realism enabled him to heal others and eventually resulted in his resurrection and ascension.

It was Mary Baker Eddy's glimpse of this Christlike realism that led to her discovery of the Science of Christ, Christian Science. In Christian Science versus Pantheism, Mrs. Eddy, the Founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, writes: "The grand realism that man is the true image of God, not fallen or inverted, is demonstrated by Christian Science. And because Christ's dear demand, 'Be ye therefore perfect,' is valid, it will be found possible to fulfil it.

Proving man's present, spiritual perfection is a gradual task. We progress in demonstrating perfection by following Christ Jesus' teachings wholeheartedly. And Christian Science shows us how to do this by explaining man's real nature as God's child and enabling us to see how we can prove that mortality and imperfection are no part of man's true nature. This requires living Christlike lives and having the mind of Christ. It takes work, but as we stay faithful to such a truly realistic view of man as G

od's spiritual reflection, we will begin to overcome the faults that seemed to be a permanent part of us.

A number of years ago I had a tendency to dominate my friends. I cared about them, but I was often unkind and definitely domineering. This was especially true of my relationship to my closest friend, who for some reason put up with me anyway--until we both moved to other areas.

Later, for several years, I really tried to put my understanding of Christian Science to work in overcoming these tendencies. I worked to be a better disciple of Christ Jesus, to really live the spiritual truths I loved. This was a gradual process that first involved becoming more aware of the unchristian behavior and then required prayer and striving to overcome it. But as I prayed, and put my prayers into practice, I felt the change taking place in my character, and I definitely felt freer and happ i

er.

After that period of several years, I once again saw the friend mentioned above. After we had spent a day together, she turned to me and said, "I almost can't believe this is you, because you're so nice! She went on to say she could really feel and see how much more consistently loving I was. She wanted to know what had brought about the change, so I told her about my efforts to practice Christian Science.

We don't have to submit to negative character traits. God created man perfect, in His likeness. This is the truth about us, and we have every right to prove our spiritual perfection.

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