Is there a godless man?

THERE certainly seems to be. We come up against him or her every day, if not in our personal life then in the newspaper or on television. Aggressiveness, greed, hatred, vengeance, characterize this man or woman. Such a one would seem to have no connection whatsoever with God, with all that is good and blessed. It's obvious that mortals are sometimes monstrous. But what would happen if we put God back into the picture and reasoned this way: ``God is the only creator, and man is the product of this one creator, so a miserable mortal isn't what God truly created.''

Man, spiritual man, made by God, is pure, loving, and good--and this is the true identity of each individual, no matter how hidden by the hideous characteristics of sensuous thinking. True creation would have to include the characteristics of the creator. And since God is always present and is all-powerful, wouldn't His creation have to be continuously expressing Godlike qualities, without lapses or weaknesses?

But what about that alcoholic you saw on the street, or the terrorist spewing forth hatred on television news? Is it logical, realistic, to say that such a person is really spiritual? Of course not, because a mortal isn't God's spiritual offspring. But we have to look more deeply into the nature of God and man to discern the reality that the mortal sense of identity would counterfeit.

Christ Jesus based his healing work on his deep understanding of the relationship of God and man. Throughout his career he referred constantly and gratefully to God as his Father. He commanded his followers, ``Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.''1

Couldn't it be that the perfect healing work he did was a result of his understanding that in truth each person that came to him for healing had a perfect Father, a perfect creator, right at that very moment? Jesus had a clear perception of spiritual reality, the reality of God expressing His perfection in man, a perception that transcended the material sense of what was going on.

Recognizing that God has created and is maintaining perfect spiritual off spring will have a dynamic effect on us and on what we see. We can begin to see that the divine Principle of good--God--operating in each individual life, is a power that chastens, transforms, purifies, and heals.

Knowing that God is the source of man prompts us to expect good from our fellowman, to look for good and highlight it when we see it rather than feel overwhelmed or terrorized by evidence of the opposite. And we can thereby develop the moral courage to see through evil's apparent presence and begin to destroy its false claim to authority and existence.

As we start discerning the true nature of others, we are able to see possibilities we hadn't seen before. We are less inclined to give up another as a hopeless case or consent to evil as inevitable or overpowering. And we can see that those things which are best in ourselves have a divine source, and in this way we can purify our living of them.

It is reassuring to know that in the truest, most absolute sense, there really is no godless man. No one can really be severed from his or her divine source. Mary Baker Eddy2 states: ``God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection, man, remains perfect. Man is the expression of God's being.''3

We can begin now to reason in the right way, and we can apply that reasoning to what we see on the streets, read in the newspapers, and experience in our own lives. The results will be worth the effort!

1Matthew 5:48. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 470. Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel. DAILY BIBLE VERSE If I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me . . . who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:20, 24, 25

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