The best there is

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

A bigot is someone who believes that various things make one person better than another.

A bigoted person may say that skin color makes some people more intelligent. That's called racism. Or that boys somehow are worth more, or are more capable, than girls. That is called sexism. Bigotry can make people judge other people by how old they are, where they are from, or where they live now. Or even by how much they weigh, how tall they are, or what color their hair is.

It is really completely foreign to how we were made even to consider the idea that one person is better than another. But what if there are people around you who seem bigoted? Or what if people have bigoted ideas of you that they don't seem to want to let go of?

You have a choice. You can hate them and allow yourself to be distracted from what makes you useful to the world. If you do that, bigotry wins, in a way, and you just hold yourself back.

Or you can think more about how everyone has - without any exceptions - equality. From God. You can work on seeing how everyone fits into God's creation.

The Bible often calls God a "He." But the same God is also our Mother. There are other names for God, too, like Love, Spirit, and creator. God is perfect. And God always expresses Himself/Herself in us fully and completely and perfectly.

The Bible says that "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). You could say that means that when we get the message of what Jesus was teaching, we see how good we all are. Jesus himself said things like this: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48).

Don't ever let other people's bigotry close your eyes to how perfect God knows you are! You really can't consider some of God's children to be less important than others, because we all have our existence in the same God. This is easy to see, for example, when your friend expresses individuality and perfection at school. When you see this, you're seeing how he or she is expressing God.

We aren't just a partial representation of God, the way a fraction is only part of a number; we're each whole expressions of God. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper, wrote, "Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 516).

Everything God made is 100 percent spiritual (thought-like) and 0 percent material (thing-like). Everything God made is the best there is. Realizing this - even if it's only a little - frees you and changes you like nothing else can. Now is the time to look at things not through the eyes of a bigot, but through the eyes of God.

It's interesting to read how finding out about all this made such a difference for Mrs. Eddy. You see, she lived back in the 1800s. It was a time when a lot of people believed that women were second-class citizens - that they shouldn't even be allowed to talk in places like church, for instance. But not forgetting the way God had set things up - even when that was a really tough thing to do - helped her find ways to overcome intolerance and prejudice. She was able to do unthinkable things like start a church (and talk in it!) and head up a publishing company.

"Let the 'male and female' of God's creating appear," Eddy wrote. "Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine 'powers that be.' Such is the true Science of being" (Science and Health, pg. 249).

Well, you can feel and do stuff like that. When you hold on to how God made us, you can help everyone, including yourself, leave racism, sexism - any kind of intolerance - in the dust. You can help everyone find the best there is about people who are different from them. And that's being really useful to the world.

You can visit the home page of The First Church of Christ, Scientist: www.tfccs.com

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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