I LIKE words, and a new dictionary is like a treasure-trove to me. Do you know what a daisy wheel is? Or an advertorial? Have you met any glitterati? These are some terms I've been looking up in my new dictionary; they are reminders that language is constantly growing and changing. In our everyday lives, too, changes are constantly taking place. The extent and speed of the changes may make us uneasy -- even fearful. But there's one thing that never changes: God's timeless Word. We find that Word in the inspired pages of the Bible: in the wisdom of prophets and patriarchs; in the teachings of Christ Jesus, the Way-shower; and in the counsel of his early followers. Mary Baker Eddy, a devout student of the Scriptures, wrote the following as the first religious tenet of Christian Science, which she Discovered and Founded: ``As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.''1
Why can we trust God's Word, and why should we? Because God's Word tells us who we truly are, as part of the Almighty's creation.
We are His children, fashioned in His image and likeness. Christian Science explains that what God creates is spiritual, perfect, eternal, complete; and God governs His creation harmoniously, with immutable laws. God's angels -- His ever-present thoughts -- guide us and nourish us. Thus, we are enveloped in divine Love. Our Father-Mother is with us every step of the way, and His Word lights our path.
When Jesus, the exemplar of divine grace and truth, had fasted forty days and nights, the devil tempted him, suggesting that he turn stones into bread. Jesus, quoting the Old Testament, replied, ``It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.''2
So that we can come closer to living our true identity, God's Word corrects us, when correction is needed. For example, the Bible contains strong warnings against promiscuity. Yet it's not the intent of God's Word to make anyone loathe himself or to make anyone feel he is destined to lead a cursed existence. Rather, the intent of God's Word is to have mankind free from anything that would hide or contradict man's true nature, which is upright, pure, and sinless.
The Word calls on us to rise to our status as God's offspring. That status could not possibly be tainted by anything that defiles. It follows that sinful conduct must be rejected in individual consciousness. The penalties of sin endure only until this rejection takes place. God is not an angry deity but a loving Father-Mother. We can listen for His guidance and gratefully follow it.
Perhaps most important of all, God's Word heals -- today as surely as during the days of Jesus' ministry. The divine healing message frees from whatever would enslave, be it sickness, lack, grief, or sin.
God's Word does much more for us than this brief article can even suggest. His Word tells us about the things that unite us, the important things we have in common despite our differences. It reveals the rewards of Christian love. It impels us to become involved in the world around us -- in helpful, healing ways -- like the good Samaritan in Jesus' parable. It teaches us to love our neighbor -- and to love ourselves, which is sometimes the hardest lesson of all. God's Word impels us to be grateful for our blessings today and to look forward with the expectation of receiving more good from God. We can trust the messages that come from our almighty Father-Mother through His Word.
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 497. 2Matthew 4:4.