A voice like no other

Advertisements, social media feeds, comments from neighbors ... voices – sometimes with competing messages – come at us from all directions. But as a man found when faced with a threatening illness, the most powerful and healing voice is the Christ, God’s message of love and care for each and every one of us.

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Ads on television, the news, podcasts ... millions of voices are speaking to us every day. All around the globe communications channels are expanding in spectacular ways. Yet, if we should ask ourselves which voice has been among the most influential of all, many might say the voice within, softly whispered or felt in the heart.

Of course, people understand the inward voice in different ways. Some feel it’s our conscience, intuition, or wisdom.

In the Scriptures, it’s generally understood to be the voice of God. A much-loved story in the Old Testament illustrates this. A boy named Samuel – a future Jewish prophet and leader – lies down to sleep and hears a voice calling him. Each time this happens he asks his priestly mentor, Eli, about it. Recognizing that Samuel is hearing the voice of God, Eli counsels Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening’” (I Samuel 3:9, New International Version). So when the call comes again, Samuel answers obediently, confirming a life of loyalty to God.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, found much to love in the lives of Old Testament prophets, including Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, and many others. She wrote in her bestselling book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “The Soul-inspired patriarchs heard the voice of Truth, and talked with God as consciously as man talks with man” (p. 308). As a young child, Mrs. Eddy herself had this kind of an experience, and heard the voice of God calling her.

The fact is, God communicates to all His children – all of us. This divine voice, it seems, may be perceived as audible or inaudible. But how do we know whether the voice we’re hearing is actually divine Spirit, God, communicating to us?

Paul, a follower of Jesus, offers this guidance in the Bible: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22, 23). God, Spirit, is entirely good. So divine inspiration urges attention to those kinds of qualities. Or if the message is nudging us to be more honest, humble, or forgiving – even to surrender self-will and self-justification – these are certainly steps of progress that God’s voice would convey to us. And if the outcome of the message will likely lead to harmony, happiness, and the removal of fear and pain, isn’t that also what God, divine Love, would be intending?

Throughout the public healing ministry of Christ Jesus and the apostles, the voice of God was often associated with authority and power. Jesus consistently pointed out that his teaching was not his own, but was of God. “I do nothing of myself,” he said, “but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28). Impelled by God, good, Jesus healed multitudes of people.

Science and Health describes a practical system of prayerful healing based on the teachings of Jesus. It makes a crucial distinction between Christ and Jesus. “Christ,” the book says, “is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (p. 332). “Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death” (p. 473).

Over the years I’ve found that Christ is a voice like no other. It’s a message from God continually coming to us, healing and saving lives.

About 15 years ago I faced a threatening illness. Having experienced the healing effectiveness of Christian Science many times throughout my life, it was natural for me to turn in prayer to God. I prayed to better understand my true, spiritual nature as God’s child. And to listen for – and yield to – Christly messages from God that would lead to healing.

As I listened, I heard that we are all deeply loved by our Father-Mother, God. Christ spoke to me of our inseparable unity with God, and our oneness with all that God forever manifests in each one of us as His spiritual image – purity, harmony, freedom, joy, right functioning, and health. Christ was waking me up to my true spiritual identity, freeing me from limited views of myself as a vulnerable, blemished mortal.

Within several days the illness was gone, and I felt joy and freedom again. (You can read more about this healing in my testimony published in the December 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal.)

The voice of Christ is always with us. Coming to thought 24/7. Healing and saving all who are willing to listen, follow, and learn.

Some more great ideas! To read or listen to an article on overcoming fear, pride, or doubt when something seems impossible, please click through to a recent article on www.JSH-Online.com titled, “Breakthroughs always possible.” There is no paywall for this content.

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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.

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