Spiritual identity and healing
Chronically ill with ailments a doctor had deemed incurable, a man felt his only solution was to die by suicide. Then he was introduced to a spiritual way of thinking about himself as God’s child – and his health turned around completely.
When we speak of someone’s identity, we are often referring to a human sense of the person – their surname and given name, date and place of birth, nationality, residence, and so forth. But to know their real identity, we must go beyond the material data about them and look instead at their true, spiritual origin.
The Bible tells us that God created man in His image and likeness and gave him dominion over all the earth. It also says that God saw His creation as “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
What else do we know about this spiritual man of God’s creating? In the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy answers the question “What is man?” this way: “Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness;…” (p. 475).
Christ Jesus, in referring to his spiritual identity, said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). His clear understanding of man’s inseparability from God – the spiritual source of all of us – enabled him to heal the sick and raise the dead.
Jesus expressed the qualities of divine Love, such as purity, goodness, peace, joy, health, obedience, and faithfulness. He also saw these qualities in others. The Bible’s account of his life allows us to glimpse the ideal man described in the first chapter of Genesis, made in God’s image, as we all are.
The difficult times we experience are very often opportunities that impel us to turn from a material sense of ourselves to a deeper understanding of our real, God-given identity, as I found out some years ago.
Before becoming acquainted with Christian Science, I had suffered for many years with malaria, constipation, and headaches, as well as hypertension and other blood pressure irregularities. These ailments had been declared incurable by a doctor. Since modern medicine failed to cure me, I tried traditional remedies such as herbal teas, but they were also ineffective. I became very weak, and when all hope of my being healed was exhausted, I saw no other solution than to kill myself.
While I was looking for a way to commit suicide, a friend who saw me in this sorry state persuaded me to try Christian Science treatment. He explained that Christian Science is a religion that heals the sick the way Jesus healed, through prayer alone. Although this seemed strange to me, I did not want to take medicines and herbal teas anymore, so I accepted his offer to take me to see a Christian Scientist.
This man received me in a very friendly manner and asked what he could do for me. I immediately told him my tale of suffering. He responded by asking me to read some Bible passages, including the account of creation in the first chapter of Genesis. He pointed out the spiritual explanations of these passages found in Science and Health, which led me to discover the spiritual sense of God and His expression, man.
I also read the answer to the question “What is God?” on page 465 of Science and Health. The seven synonyms for God that are given in the answer are Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love, and they were like a mirror that displayed to me my real being as God’s spiritual reflection. I saw that man is made in complete conformity with God, good, and can express nothing that is contrary to good. I began to understand that my true identity is the embodiment of Godlike qualities such as joy, health, strength, peace, harmony, and so forth, and could include nothing unlike God.
I felt I was being reborn. I returned home that day feeling very cheerful and happy. I was reinvigorated by my consciousness of the fact that man is the manifestation of Life, God, and of nothing else.
I had a peaceful sleep, and I woke up the next morning completely healed of all the ailments from which I had been suffering. I then collected all my drugs and talismans and threw them away. That happened 32 years ago, and I never again suffered from any of these ills.
In the years since then, my understanding of my true spiritual identity has continued to grow through my study of Christian Science, bringing much progress and enabling me to help and heal others.
To read this article in French, click here.
Adapted from an article published on the website of The Herald of Christian Science, French Edition, May 24, 2019.