At first glance the title may seem contradictory. How can you start with the end result you're trying to achieve? When sick, you want to be well, to be perfect, but the very nature of sickness implies imperfection.
Yet to make perfection our starting point isn't to ignore imperfection. It isn't simply to brush aside the disease or sickness that obviously needs healing. It's to deal specifically with it-but from a standpoint that acknowledges the present, uninterrupted perfection of God and man. Clearly, the physical senses don't support this premise. But Biblical revelation and practical proof do.
Didn't Christ Jesus heal from this spiritual standpoint? It doesn't appear he viewed illness as a fixed condition to be gotten rid of through surgery, drugs, hypnosis, or some other method. He saw disease as unrelated to man, as unsupported by divine law, and throughout his career he stressed the need to look to God first for our well-being.
A lasting solution to the question of human suffering can't be based on the premise that man is essentially physical, subject to material conditions and forces outside his control. Is this really, ultimately, the nature of man, God's offspring? Jesus held to a higher concept and proved it true through healing others and through his own resurrection and ascension. He showed that right now our status is actually spiritual perfection.
All his followers can begin to prove this truth by degrees. One way we can do it is to approach sickness, not as a fact to be removed, but as a falsity to be exposed, having no legitimate cause or presence.
For instance, not long ago I was involved in a special activity at work. It wasn't at all a convenient time to be ill! But late one morning I began to feel miserable. It didn't seem I could carry on with my assignment, but fortunately a short time was available in which I could deal with this problem.
At first I was upset with myself for choosing such a bad time to be sick. Then I began trying to figure out what had brought on the trouble. Of course, none of this encouraged a cure.
But suddenly a perception of man's innocence brightened my thought, and I started considering some spiritual facts-for example, that man is eternally upright, made in God's likeness, not a sinner to be blamed or to suffer. (Of course, all forms of sin must be faced up to and healed in order to prove man's sinlessness as God's image.) I saw that man isn't really a mortal, endlessly struggling along. This is a false concept, opposed to the view Jesus held. His comforting words, ''Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom,''n1 assure us that inharmony is illegitimate.
n1 Luke 12:32.
Immediately the symptoms began to dissolve, and shortly I was completely well. I had discerned something of my present spiritual perfection, and this truth, backed by the unopposable power of God, of eternal Truth itself, healed me.
Christian Science reveals the naturalness of harmony as a manifestation of divine law. Healing through this Science is the outcome of law, not of willpower, hypnosis, or mere positive thinking. In answer to the question ''How would you define Christian Science?'' Mary Baker Eddy, its Discoverer and Founder, says, ''As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony.''n2
n2 Rudimental Divine Science, p. 1
Acting through divine law, Science brings to light what is already and eternally true of God and man. Our standpoint, then, is perfection, because perfection is the true condition of God's creation. In Mrs. Eddy's words, ''The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea,-perfect God and perfect man,-as the basis of thought and demonstration.''n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 259
Regardless of how modest our present understanding of God's law may be, we can each prove it, at least to some degree, as we make perfection our starting point. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright. Ecclesiastes 7:29