Get acquainted with your real self

Today’s contributor was healed of a hereditary affliction as he learned more about his (and everyone’s) true nature as the child of God.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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I’ve always appreciated Ben Franklin’s amusing answer to the question, “What are the three hardest things in the world?” His answer: “Steel, diamond, and to know oneself!”

At first, that might even sound a little silly, yet there’s something profound underlying it. There’s more to us than meets the eye. In her book “Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, asks her readers: “Brother, sister, beloved in the Lord, knowest thou thyself, and art thou acquainted with God?” (p. 151).

That which is created represents the nature and essence of its creator. My study of Christian Science has shown me that “to know oneself” first requires a better acquaintance with the nature of God, the creator of us all. We each, as God’s offspring, show – in our own unique and quite wonderful ways – the breadth and wonder of the divine Life that is God.

There’s profound value in getting to know one’s true self, or genuine nature, as the expression of God. In Eddy’s book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” is this healing counsel: “Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil” (p. 571).

These ideas proved so helpful when I began to show signs of a hereditary affliction. Having seen before the healing power of prayer, I took that approach to address this issue.

As I prayed one day, I asked myself, “What if I am more than just the product of two mortals?” Jesus said, “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). It dawned on me, Wouldn’t acknowledging God as my divine Parent help me understand more about what I am as the expression of His goodness?

That’s just what happened. I began to realize that what mattered most to me was beholding in prayer each day what God revealed to me about myself – my real, God-created self, His very offspring. This authentic self is not about matter or heredity at all. As the expression of God, divine Life, identity is entirely spiritual.

As I became more acquainted with my real selfhood in divine Life, an entrancement with selfhood in matter – mentally loitering on the symptoms – dissipated. From that point on there never again was any further indication or evidence of that hereditary syndrome, and that was decades ago.

Through prayer, each of us can be introduced to this real self that we have in God, which is perfectly safe, unchangeably whole, and reflects God’s overflowing abundance and goodness. Yes, it’s definitely worth it. Selfhood in God means an identity of tranquility, beauty, absolute spiritual perfection, and insightful intelligence. And as we come to feel, know, and wholeheartedly love this spiritual identity, we lose a distorted sense of a material self separate from God – and find healing.

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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.