Your identity is intact

A diamond may be dropped in the mud, trampled on, and forgotten. But it remains a beautiful diamond. At any moment it may be discovered, cleansed of the dirt, and placed in the setting that suits it best. That trampling has not marred it at all.

If you're being hampered by unhappy experiences, perhaps feeling unappreciated and disheartened, you can undergo spiritual restoration. You can discover your God-loved identity - your actual selfhood - unharmed and unhindered.

We have been educated to think of ourselves as finite beings, originated by human parents; to believe that existence begins with birth and that it will sometime end; to accept that events which take place in between these two points are largely beyond our control and may deprive us of health, normal development, and fulfillment. This material view is the cause of all enslavement.

Christ Jesus completely rejected this view. His clear spiritual perception recognized God as Spirit, as the sole creator of man, and man as God's spiritual offspring, expressing wholeness and completeness. This true view completely changed the material evidence before him to coincide with the divine fact. So the sick were immediately healed, the dead were raised to life. All types of bondage gave place to freedom, no matter how long the particular restriction had lasted - even if it was from or before birth.

It is the acceptance of a human, material origin that restricts and afflicts us. Whereas to become conscious of our spiritual sonship opens up limitless possibilities.

Jesus taught that God is our Father, and that we have no other. He urged his disciples and listeners, ''Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.'' n1

n1 Matthew 23:9.

Heaven is not a distant place to which we may go after death. It is the present consciousness of spiritual harmony, of God's ever-presence enfolding us; of infinite Love, holding us in its image. We experience heaven through prayer that bears witness to Love's omnipresence and man's true nature, and by expressing more and more of the heavenly qualities that Jesus lived so fully - qualities inherent in our real being.

The eternal, healing Christ, felt through prayer, opens our thought to the reality and indestructibility of our spiritual identity. Then we begin to declare, as the Apostle Paul, ''This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.'' n2

n2 Philippians 3:13, 14.

This discovery and acceptance of our spiritual sonship is an ongoing experience, a new birth. It includes a gently growing consciousness of spiritual truth, out-weighing what the material senses believe, outweighing discord and sin.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesm, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''This mortal seeming is temporal; it never merges into immortal being, but finally disappears, and immortal man, spiritual and eternal, is found to be the real man.'' n3

n3 Science and Health, p. 190.

It's good to remember that the diamond is never part of the mud that hides it from view. The dirt that clings to it needs to be washed away so that the diamond's full beauty can be seen and enjoyed. It is the Christ, Truth, entertained in our consciousness, that progressively removes from our thinking - and experience - whatever fears, doubts, and limitations seem to cling there.

Each day is a new opportunity to let the spiritual qualities of our real self shine for the benefit of others. We don't have to produce our own ability to do this. Rather, we need to let God, through His Christ, reveal in us what He has already created. ''To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings,'' n4 writes Mrs. Eddy. These blessings will not only happify us, but flow out to others. They will harmonize our relationships and open new opportunities for self-expression.

n4 Ibid., p. vii.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE Beloved now are we the sons of God. I John 3:2

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