A Christian Science perspective.

A height. A race. An age. A level of education. A cultural background. A history. A bloodline. These are just a few of the measurements that the world would use to identify, define, and classify you. It’s easy to become conditioned into accepting these classifications as everything there is to a person.

This isn’t a modern issue, by any means. Even Jesus came up against it. Hearing people’s opinions about him, he once asked his disciples: “Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ” (Mark 8:27-29). Peter had a more spiritual view of Jesus rather than those other merely human opinions.

What if you asked your friends the same kind of question – “Whom do people say that I am?” The people who don’t know you too well might just describe you by physical attributes, by what you do with your time, or by where you live. People who are better acquainted with you might describe you by how you behave, what is truly important to you, what you have accomplished, or by the nature of your character.

What if you asked God a similar question? “God, who do You say that I am?” It is certainly reasonable to eliminate the possibility of God defining you by physical attributes. The Bible includes this short, relevant discussion: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour” (Psalms 8:4, 5).

This hints at the fact that, since God is spiritual, His creation – you, in other words – would be spiritual, also. Like produces like. Since the material world continually makes the mistake of defining you as vulnerable or as lacking, it is useful to watch what you accept into thought. Your thoughts are the door through which you classify your identity. What you think, in other words, affects at the most basic level what you experience.

Rather than being defined by a personal history, a physical body, an age, or a bloodline, you are defined by the nature and essence of God. Your individuality comes from your oneness with God. Your existence as spiritual creation is a tangible indication of God’s presence. You’re proof that God is here. You don’t need to search for God; no matter how far or wide or deep you go to find God, you have gone too far – for God has always been right here.

It’s worth it to be a little more conscious of the wonderful way God has created and defined us. What if you stopped what you’re doing for a moment each day to notice how wonderful it is to be at one with God, representing God 24/7? It’s like the fresh air outside – oneness with God is such a natural thing, we may forget to be grateful for and conscious of it.

There never will be much gain in letting the world define you. It will simply never do a sufficient job! Ask often, “God, who do You say that I am?” God’s expression of Himself is infinitely more than some drab, vulnerable mortal. Christian Science teaches that “Man is a celestial; and in the spiritual universe he is forever individual and forever harmonious” (Mary Baker Eddy, “No and Yes,” p. 26).

In that Bible quote mentioned earlier – “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour” – the last phrase is especially encouraging. Yes, God has crowned you with glory and honor. Gems on this crown are harmony, wholeness, confidence, purity, love, intelligence, and humility. These divine qualities identify you, classify you, and define you perfectly and accurately. Despite anything that the world may say, you have the right to wear your crown with humility, grace, and joy today.

From an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.

To receive Christian Science perspectives daily or weekly in your inbox, sign up today.

To learn more about Christian Science, visit ChristianScience.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.