Taking a stand for fidelity
A Christian Science perspective: Some insights on the spiritual foundation of fidelity in light of the scandal in Washington, D.C., involving David Patraeus.
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As I considered these Bible verses, I began to think about how God’s faithfulness to His sons and daughters is like the faithfulness of an original governing its reflection in a mirror. The original never fails to govern the reflection, and the reflection can’t help being the expression of the original. It can never take on flaws on its own or act separately from the original. Neither can it be affected by something other than the original. So victimization, impact, and influence from without cannot touch the reflection of God. A line from a hymn then came to thought: “Faithfully to Him reflected,/ One with Him forever near” (Fay Linn, “Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 237).Skip to next paragraph
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But what about the harm done? Does seeing man as the pure reflection of God allow the offender to get off without correction? Then I remembered something I had read once in the Christian Science Sentinel. In essence it said that when we get caught doing something wrong, it is actually the Christliness within ourselves – the truth of who we really are as God’s children – that arrests us, even if it appears that others have exposed the wrongdoing. I love this, because it is the harbinger of good, right where things seem messy. Right where character seems besmirched, there is the affirmation that it is the individual’s very goodness that is asserting itself.
So, I reasoned, bearing witness to one another’s true nature does not pass over needed correction, but helps expedite true reform in those who have made mistakes. And similarly, bearing witness to man as the pure reflection of God supports the capacity of those whose trust has been betrayed to refuse to take on another’s mistake as collateral damage, but to realize calmly and clearly that all worth, dignity, joy, and progress are found in one’s relationship to God.
It is such a comfort to grasp even a little of the fact that no matter what another has done to us, we are, as Mrs. Eddy says, “tributary to God, Spirit, and to nothing else” (Science and Health, p. 481). No matter what course corrections seem necessary and no matter what punishment is leveled, it cannot destroy the opportunity to be more faithful to God and to feel how faithfully God is upholding us all with tender care. And this is what turns calamities into victories.
My prayers have led me to take a strong stand for fidelity. The human promise to be faithful is clearly not enough. But the divine fact of God’s faithful expression of us as His ideas is here to rescue us from infidelity and its corruption of our hearts and minds. And when we begin to realize even a little of how we are God’s reflected idea, we are strengthened to faithfully witness to one another’s purity and innocence and to act with integrity and trustworthiness.