AS my newly purchased shoes hit the floor with a thud instead of going into the waiting sack, the clerk said in a resigned voice, ``I'm such a klutz.'' ``Oh no you aren't,'' I said. ``Those plastic bags are terribly slippery.''
``Yes I am. I always have been, ever since I was a little child. Even now my folks tell me to call ahead if I'm coming home to visit so they can put all the breakables in a safe place!'' Her fellow clerk chimed in, ``Believe it. She is a klutz!''
To me, this was clearly a case of mistaken identity. Though it was all accompanied with laughter and humor, I would like to have said, ``Putting a pickle label on a jar of peaches doesn't make them pickles,'' but I didn't. What I did do was to try to view this young woman as God made her, and not be quick or willing to associate her with intractable, personal failings.
How many of us accept certain labels and allow them to push us around, labels such as ``sloppy,'' ``forgetful,'' ``geared-like-molasses,'' ``stubborn,'' ``impatient''? Who provides the glue for these labels? We do, by our acceptance of them.
And why are these a matter of mistaken identity? Because they aren't a part of our original and actual selfhood, which includes only good. God is totally good, and therefore His creation, man,is good, the spiritual image of God. ``God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.''1 There's no room here for negative traits. And as we come to discern more consistently this perfect spiritual reality, we can expect to see changes for the better in ourselves and others. It's not a question of ignoring peoples' faults but of understanding that they aren't a part of anyone's real identity.
Perhaps we've always been taught that heredity is the cause of our behavior. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, gives us this enlightening and freeing statement: ``Heredity is a prolific subject for mortal belief to pin theories upon; but if we learn that nothing is real but the right, we shall have no dangerous inheritances, and fleshly ills will disappear.''2
In his healing of the man who was born blind Christ Jesus made it very plain that heredity was not an actual, God-derived cause. When asked, ``Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?'' Jesus said, ``Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.''3 Instead of healing the blind man, even his own disciples were busy trying to find a hook, a theory to hang his blindness on, a materially based cause. Even when it seems very obvious that a particular trouble has a specific cause, we need to realize that God is the one supreme cause and that His perfect government of man supersedes the apparent force of any other so-called cause.
Whether we feel we're clumsy or feel imprisoned by some form of illness, healing comes by looking away from the falsity of mortal selfhood to the reality of our spiritual perfection. One way we're able to do this is through daily prayer for ourselves, prayer that includes the desire to know more about the nature of God. This kind of prayer never goes unanswered.
Our thought is also spiritualized, uplifted to experience healing, through faithful study of the Bible's inspired message. At the very heart of that message is the absolute supremacy of the one God, who is good alone.
God never made you, or anyone else, a bumbler. Don't accept the label. Don't accept any label that doesn't draw you closer to your creator's goodness and perfect care. It would be false. You are, in truth, what He made you to be -- His perfect child.
1Genesis 1:31. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 228. 3John 9:2, 3.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. Ecclesiastes 7:29