The power of a change of thought
A Christian Science perspective: How a change of thought can bring healing and renewal.
Stuck in a morning traffic jam outside an elementary school, I noticed a group of girls emerge from a car. They bounced up and down with glee as they ran to join their waiting friends. At the same time, another student trudged down the sidewalk, his shoulders drooping as he dragged his backpack behind him, holding on to a broken strap. When the bell rang, there were whoops of joy, as well as groans of discontent, as the students formed their obligatory lines. One group of boys ignored the bell altogether and continued playing basketball.
This scene reminded me of a Bible verse that says, “[A]s [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Each child at school that day came with his or her own individual thoughts about the day. As I looked at this scene, it was clear that what each one was thinking had a direct effect on their experience that day and even on the way they looked and moved.
After the bell rang, the traffic thinned and I was able to pull away from the curb. As I drove home, I examined my own thoughts to see how they might be influencing my day – in a hopeful or negative way. Through study of the Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy’s book about spiritual healing, I’ve learned that it’s possible to improve my day and even my health by changing my thoughts. When this change of thought springs from an understanding of the goodness of God, it can have a positive and dramatic effect on my life.
Some years ago I became so ill that I was in bed for several days. Because I had relied on prayer alone to maintain and restore my health for more than 30 years, I reached out to God in prayer with a willingness to have my thought changed. As I prayed, the idea came to me that because God has all power, evil has no power to interrupt the goodness in my life. This thought removed the fear. Immediately, I felt strong enough to get out of bed and do some housework. Soon all the symptoms of the illness disappeared, and I was restored to full health.
Christ Jesus showed humanity that it was possible to take control of one’s health and circumstances. He healed the sick, and when an angry crowd tried to throw him over a cliff, he was able to walk through the crowd to safety without being harmed (see Luke 4:24-30). I believe that Jesus’ dominion came from his understanding of the perfect goodness of God. We can get a glimpse into Jesus’ thoughts through his words that are recorded in the Bible. He said, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32) and, “[B]ehold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Jesus was calm in the face of discord, and he overcame it by acknowledging the presence of goodness and harmony right where the discord appeared to be. He showed us the way.
Mrs. Eddy discovered Jesus’ spiritual basis for healing. She tested what she had discovered by successfully healing herself and many others on this purely mental basis. She explained, “Whatever is real is right and eternal; hence the immutable and just law of Science, that God is good only, and can transmit to man and the universe nothing evil, or unlike Himself” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” pp. 71-72).
This same healing power is available to be practiced today by all who are willing to change their thought – to base their reasoning on an awareness of God’s supreme power. Try it out for yourself. God is all good and this goodness is the only power. Let this truth change your thought and open the way for you to enjoy the dominion God has given you.