Don't Cast Yourself Down!

MATTHEW'S Gospel records that when Christ Jesus was tempted, the devil said, "Cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up."It is written again, answers Christ Jesus, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And a little later, he commands, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. If we had been standing there with Jesus as this diabolical suggestion asserted itself, his answer would have shown us the fallacy of the argument. The love and truth of what Christ Jesus said would no doubt have been clear. We would not have had to give in to the temptation to cast ourselves down physically. Though Jesus is not with us today, the powerful, loving presence of the Christ that he taught is here to help us see that we don't have to cast ourselves down-- we don't have to condemn ourselves--because we are, in reality, the children of a loving God. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, points out in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "The advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked the first century of the Christian era, but the Christ is without beginning of years or end of days. She also explains, "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness. At times, critical, condemning thoughts about ourselves can seem overwhelming. Yet, in Christ, God provides us with a saving help. Christ tells us who we truly are--man, the beloved and perfect image of God, divine Spirit. God's image is blessed and loved always, never forsaken or thought unworthy. We may believe that we are guilty of such self-defeating ways of thinking and living that we deserve all the condemnation we pile on ourselves. Yet within the spiritual view of man--the true view--there is nothing like this at all! Christ voices good to our thought because man is good. Self-condemnation is no part of God's purpose for man and plays no part in our growth and progress. Though the path to realizing the spirituality and love our true selfhood includes may seem long, we can understand more of the depth of God's love for us every day. The result will be a more spiritual perspective on ourselves, and actions that correspond with what we're understanding about our genuine identity. This perspective will lead to less self-condemnation, as well as to less cause for it. If you've ever done any work by hand, you'll know that there are plenty of incidents that can give rise to self-condemnation. That was true in my work as a builder. I'd make mistakes in measuring or cutting and then feel angry at myself about them. Then I would ask myself what governed my work. I did, and do! But I also began to realize that as I let God govern me and my work, I do a far better job. Letting God govern required me to turn completely and prayerfully to what the loving Christ says about me as God's man. When I began doing this both before my day started and as the work went on, I was more often able to recognize the "tempter and turn him away. I can't say that I never again condemned myself for a mistake. But I can say that the incidents were much less frequent as I recognized that nothing could drive a wedge between God's love and me.

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