Mere Opinion? - Or Spiritual Fact?
IT'S surprising to realize how many times in a day we hear opinions expressed--or are asked to express one ourselves-- on all kinds of subjects ranging from the trivial to the profound. One thing these opinions all have in common, however, is that they are subject to change, sometimes radical change!
How different are spiritual facts. These are not subject to change--though understanding them may change us and even our longest-held opinions. What's more, spiritual facts are always available to heal, transform, and direct our lives. For example, when we understand and accept the spiritual fact of man's perfection as the reflection of God, good, we can expect to see evidence of its validity in the restoration of harmony to our experience. A spiritual fact is simply not subject to human variableness.
Christ Jesus' life was the perfect model of man's God-given ability to heal from the standpoint of the spiritual facts, unswayed by the opinions of those around him. Jesus' purity, his spiritually enlightened consciousness, gives us an unvarying example that helps us replace our mistaken perceptions about ourselves with spiritual facts he taught. And he said, Matthew's Gospel records, ``Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Healing is the result when this demand is understood. To be perfect is not, however, to change from an imperfect mortal and become immortal and perfect. It is to recognize what is already true of man--of our genuine identity as God's perfect likeness, incapable of sin, disease, or death.
In the Bible, John's Gospel tells us that a woman who had been accused of committing adultery was brought to Christ Jesus. Her accusers pointed out that the punishment for adultery was stoning. But when they pressed him for his opinion, Jesus said a surprising thing to them: ``He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." One by one her accusers left the scene. When none of the woman's accusers remained, Jesus' said to her, ``Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
The opinion of the people, that she should be stoned, had no weight with Jesus. Their condemnation didn't take into account God's redemptive power. Jesus' response was based on the spiritual fact of God's power to heal and save and this reformed the woman's life instead of ending it.
At one time I had accepted the opinion of an eye doctor that I needed glasses. And I also accepted and experienced the prediction of a penalty for not wearing them: severe headaches. After a while, though, I began to feel enslaved by them because I spent so much time looking for them after I had put them down somewhere and couldn't remember where. I decided that I didn't want to continue to be a slave to those glasses.
I asked a friend who was also a Christian Scientist to help me pray, and also made a diligent study of the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. I was struck by a statement in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``The enslavement of man is not legitimate. It will cease when man enters into his heritage of freedom, his God-given dominion over the material senses." As I claimed the fact of my God-given heritage of freedom from the fa lse claim of impaired vision, however well-meaning the diagnosis had been, I was able to discard the glasses, and the headaches right along with them. That was over thirty years ago.
As we gain a fuller understanding of God, we'll find certain evidence that only spiritual facts are real and demonstrable.