The Name Game

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

We may spend more time than we realize thinking about names. There are the names of people, companies, stores, products, places, and streets. The list of names important to each of us could go on and on.

Names are meaningful only because of what we attach to them. Shakespeare made that valid point when he penned: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet."

You may recognize the childish taunt "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me!" It seems like a harmless way to let someone know you are above being hurt by such petty things as derogatory names. But unfortunately, people do let names hurt them - even alter their lives. For instance, if you've been identified as a "genius," you may feel pretty good about yourself. If, on the other hand, you were labeled "developmentally slow," you might find life really tough. A lot of technology and a great deal of money are involved in denoting physical and mental disorders. People who have been told they have some dread disease, or have the potential to develop that disease, believe they're stuck with more than just a label.

There is help at hand when we believe we've had a name for something bad attached to us (or to our body). In God's creation ("In the beginning" as Chapter 1 of Genesis in the Bible says), God named all the names and called all the shots. He made all that He created good. His is the one and only creation.

There has been a lot of name-calling throughout history, and certainly a lot of it hasn't been good. In a well-known account of creation immediately following the first chapter of Genesis, a man called Adam is allowed to name everything, rather than God. And things don't turn out to well. This is an allegorical account of creation that reveals the dreamlike nature of evil. And it doesn't have a speck of reality in it. Whatever is not good doesn't have Truth, or God, behind it. And no matter what its name, it is not something substantial or something we need to fear. That's good to know when you hear talk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and so forth.

Now, I'm not advocating a flippant, ignorant reaction to dreadful names. For more than a century, people all over the world have reported healings they have had through understanding the nature of God's creation, as explained in a book called "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures." Written by Mary Baker Eddy, this book is meant to be read in conjunction with the Bible. It explains that anyone can experience healing through prayer. Many healings of diagnosed diseases have been reported in testimonials in magazines published by The Christian Science Publishing Society. You can read or buy these publications in Christian Science Reading Rooms, among other places.

In the back of Science and Health are accounts of healings that have come about solely through the reading of that book. Often, the person healed glimpsed for the first time that spiritual laws enabled Christ Jesus to heal people. Christian Science is the name Mrs. Eddy gave to these very laws after she found them in her growing understanding of the nature of God. Included among these reports are healings of cancer, broken bones, tuberculosis, heart disease, asthma, kidney disease, growths, substance abuse, rheumatism, and eczema - and many more. They were all healed through a reliance on God's power alone.

You do not need to succumb to or suffer from anything that God has not named - anything that is not good. Here is a simple statement that has a profound truth in it: "If God does not know it, you cannot have it."

On a lighter note, have you heard about the three umpires? The first one is a novice, the second is more experienced, and the third is a master umpire. Well, the first, naively reporting how he calls the ball during a game, says, "I call it as it is." The second says, "Yeah, well, I call it as I see it." And the master umpire (the wisest of all) says, "It ain't nothing till I call it!"

That speaks to a great truth. We could safely say that unless God has made the call on our well-being, what we see "ain't nothing!"

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