Our completeness in Christ

A Christian Science perspective: Whether we’re single or married, everyone has the ability to feel whole and complete. 

This week’s cover story, “Single nation,” describes a trend in the United States: Fewer people are deciding to marry. And while no one can tell someone to stay single or get married, it’s possible, and in fact very important, for us to feel whole and complete regardless of our marital status.

Feeling truly complete, however, can’t come from human relationships or circumstances. A sense of wholeness can really only be based on the unwaivering and eternal; it comes from our relationship to our creator, God, who is Spirit. An understanding of ourselves as Spirit’s offspring has the effect of turning us from the material sense of things to the spiritual qualities of thought that are the true substance of our happiness, our sense of fulfillment, and even our health.

Christ Jesus is the highest example of spiritual wholeness. Jesus had very few of the things that would outwardly signal a complete life: no fixed home or income stream, no nuclear family life. He did have, however, a complete grasp of his relationship to God as His beloved Son, and he expressed that relationship in intelligence and compassion. Jesus demonstrated for us a life full of the power of Christ, the consciousness of being one with his Father. He brought healing to broken lives; he loved all with whom he came into contact and left them with a fuller understanding of their life purpose as God’s child.

The Apostle Paul urges us to find our own wholeness in Christ. Paul says: “In him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9, 10).

 Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, explains the same spiritual truth that Paul described: “For true happiness, man must harmonize with his Principle, divine Love; the Son must be in accord with the Father, in conformity with Christ” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 337).

The Christly qualities that we all reflect, including honesty, unselfishness, hope, patience, joy, wisdom, intelligence, and satisfaction, come from God. They are not add-ons to who we are; they are the qualities of true being, which we express as God’s child – as the likeness of Life, Truth, and Love . Feelings of incompleteness, dissatisfaction, loneliness, and selfishness aren’t from God, and we have the authority of Christ to dismiss them from our consciousness and remove their effects from our lives. By claiming our relationship to God that Jesus expressed so completely, we find that we aren’t missing out on companionship by being single or missing out on personal growth by being married.

As many people know from experience, completeness isn’t gained from adding all the pieces of our lives together so that the sum adds up to something satisfying. We don’t really find wholeness in circumstances, even when the circumstances are a happy home or a fulfilling career. Our satisfaction comes with prayerfully acknowledging that we are related solely to God and are not what the physical senses would portray us as being – limited and mortal.

We can each progressively​ understand and​ prove the wholeness of the Christly nature we possess. Whether we spend our lives as a single or a married person, there is no limit to the goodness, the wisdom, and the love we can express as God’s offspring.

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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.