Putting the cart before the horse

THE condition of our body appears to determine our mental outlook and to set limits on what we can do. If the body has aches and pains or lacks energy and strength, how can we be expected to believe that we can feel good, joyful, active, or at peace? If the body has a chronic deficiency of some kind, isn't it natural to believe that the body will decide what kind of a day it's going to let us have? From the physical sense standpoint, the body -- including all the disorders it seems to be subject to -- is the boss and we're its servant. But, God be thanked, Christ Jesus' healing works show us that the physical senses are not what truly govern us. Who could appear to be more of a slave to a malfunctioning body than one who was blind, lame, or diseased? But Jesus, rousing thought to a higher sense of God's power and government, healed the suffering bodies of those who flocked to him.

Because man is the likeness of God, Spirit, as the Bible indicates, our true identity is not physical but spiritual; and it is spiritual selfhood alone that has dominion. As human beings learn to accept, understand, and claim their true spiritual selfhood through sincere regeneration, as Jesus taught, they need no longer be the slaves of physical sense. Regularly and consistently Jesus showed the body to be not a master but a servant -- a servant to be kept pure and healthy through godly thinking and acting.

``No man can serve two masters,''1 said Jesus; and, ``Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [the necessities of human existence] shall be added unto you.''2 So long as we consider the body to be in any degree our master, we're looking away from instead of toward the kingdom of God and its laws. That kingdom, as Jesus taught, is a spiritual domain to be found within our purified consciousness. As we obey Jesus' teaching by letting spiritual values take precedence over a superficial, sensuous outlook, we worship God, Spirit, ``in spirit and in truth.''3 And such loyal worship of the one divine cause progressively unfolds our dominion by destroying the inharmonies that seem real only to a spurious, physical sense of life.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``All reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal. That which He creates is good, and He makes all that is made. Therefore the only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring belief, until God strips off their disguise. They are not true, because they are not of God.''4

Physical sense would have us put the cart before the horse: put the body first in our thinking, as if it were our master instead of God, who is our Life. Whatever limitation the body would appear to impose upon us, the remedy is to turn in prayer to the reality of God and His creation, yield to the Christly view of man's spiritual selfhood. With God and His Christ preeminent in our consciousness, we can begin to find and claim every quality of His infinite goodness; every aspect of peace, joy, and energy without hindrance from the body. We can work out our salvation in the way Jesus taught.

1Matthew 6:24. 2Matthew 6:33. 3John 4:24. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 472.

You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. Psalms 16:8,9

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