The Family and Individual Healing

TODAY it's common to seek a cause for people's troubles in their family backgrounds. Individuals are told, ``You're this way because you had a dysfunctional family. It is the family's fault. Such an approach does little to help someone who is struggling to be free of difficulties.

Christ Jesus was questioned along a similar line by his disciples so many centuries ago. They had encountered a man blind from birth. In the Bible, John writes of the incident: ``And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." Part of what Jesus pointed out was that the disciples' question was a fruitless one. It looked to th e material situation for the cause of the problem. Jesus implied that such speculations were of no moment because spiritually untrue. What was true was that God's works should be brought out in the man's experience. Then he proceeded to heal him.

One interested in such immediate spiritual healing must be willing to drop the whole notion of a mortal context in which the problem can be seen as existing. Instead of asking, ``Do I have all these problems because of a poor family environment?" one must be willing to ponder and endeavor to understand, with the full confidence of its spiritual truth, the concept ``I am the spiritual creation of the perfect God, divine Love, and there are no limits to His love for His creation--His wholly spiritual famil y."

We need to acknowledge that our purpose is that the works of God should be made manifest in us. Perhaps conscious thoughts of resentment, or what are claimed to be unconscious assumptions about our natures, arise in thought or experience. As we change our basic attitudes and acknowledge that God, being infinite, and truly in charge of all, is manifesting His goodness in us, we are able to let them go. We have the capacity, at every moment, to be good, to choose good, and to declare and maintain ourselves

free from the assumptions of mortal history that say otherwise. There are many instances of people's acting on assumptions of fear or misunderstanding that later proved entirely groundless. These examples remind us that such assumptions need to be questioned, not accepted.

The light of spiritual truth shows us that the monsters under the bed flee with the shadows that are dispersed by the light. False questions that suggest difficulties should be closely questioned. Do they agree with what we know of the nature of God? Do they acknowledge that the works of God are being made manifest in us? If not, we can dislodge them from our assumptions and our experience. They have no legitimate place there and cannot, when we refuse to permit it, influence us or curtail our progress a nd freedom. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Physical causation was put aside from first to last by this original man, Jesus. He knew that the divine Principle, Love, creates and governs all that is real."

Christ Jesus showed us the way, and it is our privilege to realize that the works of God are being made manifest in us, as they were in the man healed of blindness. We, too, can turn away from speculations about false causes and rightfully claim the underlying support of God in freeing our experience from unreal effects. We need not be drawn into their entanglements. We have Christ's promise of spiritual freedom.

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