'What You See Is . . .'

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

FOR people who don't know much about computers, it's worth pointing out that the following word is not a printing error: WYSIWYG. Rather, it's an acronym that stands for the expression "What You See Is What You Get." It refers to the computer program that enables you to see the exact image on your computer screen that will be produced by the printer.

Though this innovation is fairly recent, you could say that the concept itself is ancient, going back as far as Bible times. Though you would scour the Scriptures in vain to find anything approaching the term WYSIWYG, they carry many illustrations of the fact that what we "see'' -- what we hold to be the truth -- influences what we "get" in our lives. In the proportion that one discerns the facts of God and His perfect creation, he or she experiences greater harmony, better health, increased safety, consistent progress, and more joy. Spiritual discernment and faith enabled the prophet Elisha to thwart an army using chariots to besiege the city of Dothan (see II Kings, chap. 6). The Apostle Paul, when bitten by a deadly viper, shook off the snake and suffered no effect from its poison because he understood God's creation to be harmless (see Acts 28:3-5). The entire healing ministry of Jesus Christ was the result of perceiving divine reality.

What these Bible luminaries discerned of God brought peace, security, and healing. Apparently, they healed by holding thought to the eternal truth that we are God's perfect reflection. Such spiritualization of thought was practical.

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It still is today. Many people have proved this through following the teachings of Jesus as explained by Christian Science. From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy come these words on the subject of "spiritual WYSIWYG": "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts" (p. 261).

By holding thought consistently and with understanding to the fact that God created everything good, anyone can see evidence of this fact. Although disease, despair, or destitution may appear very powerful, these all can be healed. The mental activity involved here is not a material visualization process of picturing good scenes and expecting to achieve them. That is not true prayer but merely positive, wishful, often willful thinking. On the other hand, striving for better and clearer spiritual sight -- a progressing perception of God and His creation -- is true prayer.

All that is of God is available to us all. It is spiritual and is represented in good qualities. So, for example, a useful object might express utility, order, efficiency, mobility, beauty. These qualities belong to each of us already because we're each God's child, or reflection. We can affirm this and improve our expression of these qualities. Then we will inevitably find evidence of them coming into our lives in practical, helpful ways -- in prosperity, in love, in healing.

Conversely, to the degree we aren't seeing, acknowledging, the spiritual truth of being, we may encounter much in life that contradicts a perfect creation. We may continue to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell sickness, sin, and lack. Still, we don't ever need to be cowed by what the five senses relate. Their report is not factual, because only God's goodness is forever true. In proportion to our intelligent faith in God, we can reject the senses' false reports, and the evidence of goodness will come to light.

The Bible tells how Jesus praised a willingness to seek God's goodness. He promised that those who seek the kingdom of God -- of good -- as their first priority would additionally have every practical provision they needed (see Matthew 6:31-33). I have found the Saviour's promise true over and over again in my own life. When I have needed healing, or when my financial situation has needed improving, to the degree that I have sincerely sought to understand God and follow His guidance, harmony has been restored. I have found that what you see, discern, of the true nature of God is what you get. This perception develops your character and improves your life. And since God is infinite, discerning more and more of Him is forever satisfying!

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