THE greatest discovery you will ever make is of your relationship to God as His loved child! Finding out that you don't need to be afraid of God, and can never be separated from His love, will have a wonderful, powerful impact on every aspect of your life.
We may have read or heard many times that the Scriptures say man is God's child--His very own image, or likeness. But when we really consider this fact, it has profound implications. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, helps us understand these implications. This book shows us, for example, that since man exists as the image of God--in other words, as the idea of divine Mind--he actually lives forever at one with God and is forever perfect in God's sight.
Christ Jesus certainly demonstrated his oneness with the heavenly Father. Quite literally the Son of God, born of a virgin, Jesus was especially qualified to show the true, spiritual origin and sinless nature of man as God's child. And he taught that we are all God's sinless children. Jesus referred to this inseparable relationship and to God's ceaseless, tender care for us, when he said of his followers, ``My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me . . . . And no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand'' (John 10:27, 29).
Science and Health helps us understand our relationship to God, and explains how we can demonstrate our true worth as God's child. We read, for example, ``The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship'' (p. 316).
We have at least some idea of what the demand to ``turn from sin'' requires of us. And as we fulfill this demand, step by step, we are freed of the punishment sin inflicts upon itself. But what does it mean to ``lose sight of mortal selfhood''? It surely doesn't mean we should walk around with our eyes closed, naively refusing to see immorality or people in distress. But this statement does bring out the importance of turning away from--or refusing to give credence to--the false view of man as merely a mortal, helplessly subject to disease or financial lack or the brutalities of war, and who ends in death.
If man were material and sinful, he would be separate from God (who, as divine Spirit, is the opposite of matter and evil), and that would be a forlorn state of existence. But because man's genuine selfhood is the wholly spiritual, pure image of God, we can never truly be separated from God or from anything good. As we accept these truths, we find it natural to begin to demonstrate our relationship to God. We do this by loving others, by treating everyone as God's child--deserving of respect and kindness. It is imperative to act on the basis of our God-given purity and strength, which means we refrain from immoral behavior and strive, without fear, to reach worthy goals. Living in obedience to God also reveals that we are truly under Love's government alone. Jesus proved all of this in his own life and in his healings of others. He was able to do so because he understood so clearly man's blessed unity with God.
Don't be afraid; don't be discouraged. You are not alone. And you can't be cut off from good or peace or joy. You are God's precious, loved child, forever embraced in His universal family. What a wonderful discovery!