What did you think I meant?

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

One day I was speaking with my mom on the phone. When she related an almost inconsequential conversation she'd had with a friend, I commented that I hoped that the woman hadn't misunderstood what my mom was saying.

"I can't worry about it," was her carefree response. Now, as long as I can remember, I've never heard my mom utter a mean or even thoughtless remark. Still, it impressed me how free she was from wasting precious time mulling over nothing.

I wanted to be like that.

Anyone who tries to act in ways that are harmless, unselfish, loving, thoughtful, has no reason to worry about others' reactions. The quality of a person's thoughts are automatically expressed in the words he or she verbalizes. It's not productive to be concerned about whether another person might misinterpret the meaning of words that have been said with good intentions.

This isn't to advocate that people blunder along through life, saying thoughtless things under the guise of what they might think is honest, all the while coming across as blunt and rude. But it's always possible to learn how to be tactful and considerate. In fact, we can always strive to do what the Apostle Paul encouraged the Christians in Philippi to do when he wrote to them, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5).

What is that "mind"? Well, in several places in the Bible we find the word mind used in connection with God. And the book of Genesis says we were made in God's "image" and "likeness" (1:26, 27). So, you could conclude that we are made in the image and likeness of the divine Mind, or intelligence. Having that mind "which was also in Christ Jesus" is really being aware that we are made in God's intelligent, good likeness.

Throughout the biblical accounts of Jesus' life, there are examples of how he expressed the divine Mind - in his perception, clarity, keenness, intuition, etc. It was his understanding that God was his Mind which gave Jesus abilities beyond the ordinary. And by faithfully turning to God ourselves for wisdom and strength, we will find ourselves progressively freer from the mental clutter that bogs people down - including worry.

You could think of it like this: just as the sun - the source of light and heat for the earth - is "imaged" in each individual ray that shines out from it, so, too, is the divine Mind - the source of intelligence and wisdom for humanity - imaged in each individual identity that reflects it. And that's all of us.

The power of this spiritual fact to improve a person's life is provable, when the fact is clearly understood. When I have accepted my ability to express Mind to any degree, it has freed me from unnecessary concerns that aren't even worth my time.

The result of turning my thought away from personal injustices - perhaps small or perhaps large - to the wonderful fact that God is the divine Mind and is All, has been healing in some way. This may not have always happened in a moment. But as I have seen, through prayer, that we all have the same God, the same Mind, I have been free.

In God there is no misunderstanding, for the divine Mind is also the divine Love.

When the divine precepts are understood, they unfold the foundation of fellowship, in which one mind is not at war with another, but all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, in accordance with the Scriptural command: "Let this Mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Mary Baker Eddy

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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