The need for health

A Christian Science perspective: Spiritual understanding meets humanity’s need for health.

“Everything you need daily can be found here. Hot sales now!” This sentence, complete with happy-looking emoticons, showed up on Facebook recently.

Everything we need daily? Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? What a promise!

Our daily needs may include a variety of things, but one thing we all undoubtedly require is health. At times, we may feel this need isn’t being met. But in my experience, I’ve learned that health is something that can be found when our thought shifts from a solely material sense of our experience to a more spiritual sense of what we are. In other words, we find health in the “here” that is divine Spirit, God, not in its opposite, matter.

Here’s an example to help explain. One evening my daughter came to me and said it was about time her hands, which were covered with warts, cleared up. She did not want surgery or medication, but she no longer felt ready to just wait for them to eventually clear.

We often discuss spiritual ideas together to address problems of various kinds, so rather than examine her hands we began to talk about the wonderful spiritual qualities she expressed – qualities such as love, unselfishness, goodness, kindness. These qualities pointed to the fact of her spiritual identity as God’s child, which must include perfect health. We pledged to fill our thoughts with a spiritual, and not a material, view of life, to trade the fear of this imperfection for humble gratitude for our spiritual perfection.

I’ve found that when there’s need of healing, the right place to begin is to acknowledge the perfection of God and of what this means to us as God’s creations. This follows Christ Jesus’ teaching, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Ideas I cherish from the study of Christian Science have helped me understand that it was seeing the perfection of God and man so clearly that enabled Jesus to bring healing to so many human problems.

The very next morning at breakfast, my daughter came bounding up to me with her hands held out in front of her again. There was not one wart on them.

This is one of many experiences I’ve had where a better understanding of spiritual identity and our relation to God has brought healing, sometimes quickly, sometimes more gradually.

It’s so helpful to know that all healing takes place first in thought. It is God who cares for us in every way. We can think of God as saying: “Everything you need daily can be found here – in a better understanding of what I am and what you are as My creation.”

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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.”

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