Commentary A Christian Science Perspective

Where our value lies

A Christian Science perspective: “Man is God’s reflection, needing no cultivation, but ever beautiful and complete” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 527).

  • Mark Swinney

Often, society measures our worth by what we have in comparison to other people – for instance, popularity or money – rather than by what we uniquely are. It can be tempting to feel our individual value is defined this way, and that if we don’t measure up in terms of possessions or connections we are inadequate.

Fortunately, there’s a deeper, more encouraging way to think about our worth. A spiritual view of ourselves gives us a very different perspective of where our value lies. In particular, I’ve found that turning humbly and wholeheartedly to God helps us see that we are each infinitely loved.

As a first-grader, I was introduced to this idea of a God who boundlessly loves and values everyone. This was at a time when my parents couldn’t care for me, and I was living with other families. As kind as these others were, it might have been easy to feel like a worthless, throwaway child. Yet I remained happy, which I attribute to the budding sense I had of my value as a child of God. This simple concept gave me confidence and inner joy.

This sense of my and everyone’s worth has remained with me, deepening into a fuller understanding in the years since, as I’ve come to better understand our creator, God, as perfect Spirit. As Spirit is the true source of our existence, it follows that our nature is and remains spiritual, and as the offspring of Spirit’s perfection we can have no inadequate elements. At every moment we are all distinct, individual expressions of God’s presence and goodness. “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy, offers readers this healing perspective of ourselves: “Man is God’s reflection, needing no cultivation, but ever beautiful and complete” (p. 527).

This echoes what “a voice from heaven” said about Christ Jesus, according to the Scriptures: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). It’s enlightening to know that this took place before Jesus had accomplished his great healing works. This points to a worth based on more than what we do humanly. Jesus’ worth was immeasurable, simply because of what Jesus was: the offspring of the boundless good that is God. And while Jesus’ nature as the Son of God was certainly unique, he was showing us what we all are as God’s cherished, precious children.

In God’s infinite goodness, love, and intelligence, expressed in us, we find our own wonderful worth and capabilities. Recognizing and accepting this forever fact can be completely life-changing.

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