Varying degrees of truth – or eternal Truth?
A Christian Science perspective: On universal, spiritual truths that heal.
When you think about it, we are exposed all the time to “truths” that really have varying levels of validity. For instance, of all the mountains on the seven continents, Mount Everest is Earth’s highest. Is that a timeless truth? Not really. Because of geological events, there will be a day when Mount Everest will be sand on the beach. Or how about the mathematical truth underlying the equation ten minus five equals five? Because it’s perpetual, that feels like a higher degree of truth.
And then, above all, there are truths that are so enduring that they reach all the way into the eternal category. These universal truths aren’t associated with physicality or human perspectives. They are spiritual in nature, existing above and beyond a material universe.
Here is a good example: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The capacity to be perfect – that’s a truth Christ Jesus presented to a crowd. That statement certainly seems untrue. “Perfect”? Could even the best human being claim to be perfect – without a single flaw?
But Jesus was acknowledging a truth that his audience hadn’t yet come to realize – a spiritual truth. The perfect man Jesus saw is what we all truly are, made in the spiritual likeness of God, perfect Truth itself. Though the human eye can’t see it, it’s logical that the divine Spirit that is God created us spiritually, not materially. Our very identity and purpose is to express the attributes of God, such as intelligence and perfection. More than a theoretical truth, Jesus saw this as spiritual reality that can be proved in a way we can tangibly see. By knowing the truth of perfect God’s perfect creation, he healed people over and over.
When Jesus saw a man who had been blind all his life, his disciples wanted to know what had caused his suffering (see John 9:1-7). Yet right away Jesus didn’t accept that blindness was a “truth” about the man. Instead, he said the man was created so that the works of God – of divine goodness – should be made manifest in him. And on the basis of that divine truth Jesus healed the man.
These spiritual truths are still valid and relevant today. For instance, many years ago, my vision became less clear. From what I’d learned from Christian Science about myself as the likeness of God, rather than being mortal and imperfect, I just couldn’t accept limitation in sight as part of me, even though it seemed very true. Eternal truth, on the other hand, is that God’s creation, including each of us in our real, spiritual identity, cannot ever erode.
A wonderful moment came when I realized that I was already governed by this truth simply because it is already true and in place. Truth wasn’t something that would become true once I believed it. The eternal, changeless fact that God is expressing in us the qualities of perfection and wholeness isn’t going to become any more or less factual than it is right now.
Over a period of weeks, I loved and really stuck to the truth of how God’s perfection is expressed freely in me, and is my perfection. From then on, and permanently, I could see with complete clarity.
I am certainly still learning much about these absolute, eternal truths. But knowing more about them helps me to discard more quickly the false “truths” I hear about imperfections as realities. Knowing the truth of what we truly are divinely created to be, Jesus promised, makes us free (see John 8:32). And people all over the world are discovering that truth can heal and transform us.