A friend of mine badly needed a new car. She had the money to buy one. Yet she refrained. Her reticence troubled her, and she prayed for a deeper understanding of herself. Soon she realized what the trouble was -- she didn't think she was entirely worthy of a car. She recalled that even in childhood she'd had feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.

But through her prayer she began to realize more fully that she was the child of God, that she was worthy, even precious. She bought the car and enjoyed it.

Man is God's idea, or reflection. God, being All and good, is of infinite worth. Therefore man, because of his relation to God, is of infinite worth as well.

Sometimes, though, human beings feel miserably unworthy. Perhaps they mull over the past and regret real or imagined mistakes. These feelings of guilt and unworthiness can be dissolved. We don't have to run that questionable film of mortal personalities and circumstances even one more time!

The Gospel of John relates the story of a woman taken in the act of adultery. n1 Her accusers said Jewish law decreed that she should be stoned to death. When they queried Jesus on what he would do, however, he silenced their self-righteous condemnation of the woman with a few words, and she went free. Then he said, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." She had been given another opportunity.

n1 See John 8:3 -- 11;

Even more, though, Jesus' wise love had freed her to draw closer to her God-given, innocent selfhood. Because the Master made it clear that she could now expect to have the strength to resist sin, she could also resist self-condemnation. She could gain, or perhaps regain, a self-respect and a sense of dignity that could not be violated by her or anyone else.

An individual's sense of mortal selfhood will sometimes argue passionately for its continuance. It may start out asserting how wonderful it is, and then go on to demand unending praise from all within its sphere of influence. If this doesn't work, however, self-condemnation and feelings of worthlessness seem acceptable substitutes.

The way out lies in recognizing these negative feelings as suggestions of the carnal mind -- the claim to intelligence that is denounced in the Bible -- and not as our own thinking. Then they can be firmly and persistently rejected until they disappear. And they will disappear, because God, man's only Mind, knows man's worth, and there is no other mind to feel inferior or worthless. We can claim this. We can acknowledge it and yield to it. Because he is in truth God's reflection, each individual has the right -- even the duty -- to insist now that he is, in his true being, infinitely worthy and precious to God.

In the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy n2 states: "If God, who is Life, were parted for a moment from His reflection, man, during that moment there would be no divinity reflected. The Ego would be unexpressed, and the Father would be childless, -- no Father.' n3

n2 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;

n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 306.

Spiritual man is of inestimable value to God. Of this we can be sure, for divine evaluation is not based on anything that happens or doesn't happen within the dream of material living. It's based on divine Love, the nature of Love, the fact that Love is the only creator, and the truth that Love's creation is inherently and irreversibly lovable.

Divine Love is God. One who is reaching out to Love for a sense of self-worth can consciously affirm that, as God's child, he is precious. His true, spiritual identity, the reflection of pure Soul, is innocent and noble. Never falling to the level of the material sense of life, it has never sinned.

God, the divine Mind of the universe, is loving and valuing the sinless selfhood of each one of us right now. Can we do less than love and treasure ourselves? DAILY BIBLE VERSE The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.