A deep truth brought more clearly into light can be quite powerful. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” promised Christ Jesus (John 8:32).
What is this wonderful truth he was talking about? A statement he made in a collection of teachings called the Sermon on the Mount is telling: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
It’s hard to deduce from this that Jesus meant we should be physically perfect. He taught that God is Spirit. Matter has inherent imperfections. But the divine Spirit, God, didn’t create us materially. Spirit creates spiritually, because like produces like. In Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy’s book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she says, “We lose our standard of perfection and set aside the proper conception of Deity, when we admit that the perfect is the author of aught that can become imperfect, that God bestows the power to sin, or that Truth confers the ability to err” (p. 555).
When confronted with imperfection – limitation, injury, illness – Jesus brought more of God’s perfection to light through healing others. These healing works showed that God’s spiritual perfection can be brought out more and more in human experience. Jesus was proving the nature of God – of divine Truth itself – and of us as God’s spiritual image, and what he proved true remains true today.
When a friend of mine injured her mouth and teeth in an accident, she asked if I might pray with her. As I began to do so, I had the thought, “If Jesus met this woman, would he see her as perfect?” Yes, I had no doubt that he would immediately perceive the utter spiritual perfection of God fully expressed in her. I decided that, as best I could, this had to be my approach, too.
Feeling humbled by this idea, I affirmed wholeheartedly that divine Truth has always governed its creation, and that our existence is wholly, unchangeably based in God’s wonderful, spiritual perfection. There are no halfway points in this perfection or in man’s – everyone’s – reflection of it.
Within hours of the accident my friend’s mouth and teeth were completely healed. There weren’t any marks on her face at all. The truth, God’s truth, had made her free.
The Bible asks, “Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3). To me, this indicates that our real identity isn’t something that becomes spiritual and whole because we’re praying. Before we even start to pray, God’s truth about what we are is already unspoiled and in place. Prayer lifts us to a better understanding of that truth, enabling us to see more evidence of it in our day-to-day experience.
This is something that we can discover for ourselves, more fully understand, and apply in our own lives, with healing results.