What are you grateful for?

A Christian Science perspective: The First Commandment is a law that brings healing.

A high school girl asked her Christian Science Sunday School teacher if unsightly growths could be healed through prayer. “Of course,” the teacher answered. “In fact, let’s talk about how to heal through prayer.”

So the class began to share ideas they had learned about spiritual healing. One of the boys said, “I always start my prayer with gratitude.” The girl replied, “You mean I’m supposed to be grateful for an ugly growth?!” She laughed, and the class laughed with her.

No, we don’t have to be grateful for the problems in our lives, but we can surely be grateful for the law that heals them. Christ Jesus said he came to fulfill the law (see Matthew 5:17,18). Note how he did it: He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed multitudes, stilled a storm, and told his followers to go and do likewise. Obedience to the law Christ Jesus followed and gratitude for its protection are powerful healing tools. That healing law is stated, briefly and succinctly, in the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).

I learned how the First Commandment works as a law when I discovered a small growth on my face. It wasn’t too visible at first, but then it began to spread. I knew it was time to take a deeper look at the healing power of that simple law. I had learned through the study of the Scriptures and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy, that obedience to the First Commandment – acknowledging that only God, omnipotent good, has power – brings divine goodness and the Christly purity of spiritual, healing ideas into our daily lives. In acknowledging and loving God we begin to lose our fear of a power apart from all-powerful God. We also begin to perceive our own real nature as God has created us – purely spiritual and good.

An honest examination of my thinking revealed a host of ideas that were unloving and fearful. I needed some serious mental housecleaning. In Christian Science, Love is another name for God, and man is His reflection – His image. Love is the healer, and my job was to obey the law of Love by eliminating from thought anything opposed to His nature.

As I took on this self-examination with vigor, I found I was becoming more interested in lifting my thought to be in tune with God than I was in the growth. One morning as I washed my face I saw that the growth was gone! Not diminishing, not spreading less, but gone.

In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes, “Action expresses more gratitude than speech” (p. 3). Christ Jesus showed by his marvelous works that obedience to one God, one Father of us all, brings healing, and our own obedience enables us to follow Jesus’ healing example. I’m immensely grateful for that promise. We’ve barely scratched the surface of the great healing potential of understanding and obeying God’s law! It’s a lofty goal, but it’s a promise, too, of the spiritual healing that we can accomplish today. That’s what I’m grateful for.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

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.

QR Code to What are you grateful for?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today