A gift for every day
The unshakable confidence that man expresses the nature of God is a gift we can give each other every day. Because God is divine Love, such a concept of man enables us to love others despite appearances. The physical senses may identify man as hateful, greedy, unintelligent. But spiritual sense, the ability we all have to understand God, shows us what is invisible to the material senses -- the man who is totally good. This man we can love without hesitation.
I saw that I needed to improve my view of man when I found myself resenting the selfish actions of a friend. I boiled inwardly and told people about how i had been slighted.
Through the comments of another friend, however, I began to see how I was trying to make this relationship conform to my particular interests and needs. I was the one who had to learn to be unselfish!
I had begun believing I was a frustrated personality who was being rejected by an unresponsive person. But I was being misled by a material view of man.
Then I remembered these words from the Christian Science textbook by Mary Baker Eddy: n1 "We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives." And further along this book states, "Let us accept Science, relinguish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals; and so let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence." n2
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 248-249;
It was plain that if I wanted to see the model of excellence in this relationship and in my life, I would need to have one God, the Mind that Paul was referring to when he said, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." n3
n3 Philippians 2:5;
As my thoughts coincided more with this Mind and with the facts of eternal being, I became more appreciative of the kindness my friend did express not only to me but to others. Petty grievances melted under the warmth of the recognition that man is fashioned by God. That was the end of our estrangement.
The view of ourselves and others as physical entities separated from God invariably sets up a battleground for conflicting interests and viewpoints. Knowing that man reflects Bod, we can see how worthy is of our love and respect. To believe man is to belittle God. All that belongs to God belongs to man: His power, His beauty, His grace and goodness, His understanding and infinite love.
I soon began making demands on myself to be more forgiving, more considerate, more generous. Not surprisingly, i discovered that the things that were annoying me about others were attitudes that i was indulging! I leaned that good never really comes from people but straight from God, who gives us countless opportunities to express Him, to reflect infinite Life and Love.
Whenever we are confronted with circumstances that make us feel unloved, we can meet the challenge by pondering questions such as these: Is there anything in the man God made that I cannot love? If man is spiritual (and he is), how can he be imperfect or unloving? How can I reflect more of divine Love?
A poem entitled "Love" by Mrs. Eddy contains this line: "Seek holy thoughts and heavenly strain,/That make men one in love remain." n4 Imparting the gift of God's spiritual love for man ensures that we can receive it every day.
n4 Poems,m p. 6.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE And, behold, I am with thee, and will keel thee in all places whither thou goest , and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave three until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. Genesis 28:15