Have you mistaken your identity?

As we come to realize that God made all His children flawless and whole, not vulnerable and mortal, healing naturally results.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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“How unbelievable is this!” I said to myself as I rushed across a crowded store to greet a friend I hadn’t seen in years. As I got closer, however, it was obvious this was not the friend I thought it was. It was only a mistaken identity.

In this case, mistaking someone’s appearance was no big deal. But other times, mistaking what we think we see for the reality that we need to see can have painful consequences. And correcting that misperception can bring healing.

I found this out one day 20 minutes before a friend and I were each to give a presentation at a community event. I was suffering from congestion and nausea, and thought I might faint.

My friend looked at me with such tenderness, and then said, “You’re not who you think you are.”

I was startled. My friend is a gentle person who looks out for others. What did she mean? Sick, weak, and nauseated – this wasn’t me?

Referring to everyone’s inherent Godlike nature, Christ Jesus said, “You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48, New King James Version). Many events in the Bible show the transformative effect of understanding our true self as God’s children, unlimited and spiritual. Once Jesus encountered a man who’d been sick for 38 years. Jesus asked him if he wanted to be well. The man explained that he had no one to help him get into a nearby pool of water that was believed to have curative power when it bubbled up. The man was discouraged because help never arrived in time.

He may have been surprised when Jesus responded compassionately that the man didn’t need to wait any longer to be well. Jesus told him to get up, and right then and there he stood up and walked freely (see John 5:1-9).

The man had mistaken what he saw materially for the reality that he needed to see spiritually. Jesus’ recognition of this man’s identity as forever perfect was spot on. This understanding was so illuminating that it changed the man’s perception of himself and restored his mobility.

I knew from my own experiences that prayer can have a healing effect, so I found a quiet room to think about these ideas. The Bible teaches that each of us is created and maintained by ever-present and all-loving God, who is Spirit, divine Love itself. Divine Spirit remains undiminished in perfection and goodness. And emanating from Spirit, we are spiritual and inherently manifest the divine nature. Each of us has a direct and unbreakable relation to God, and this keeps us whole. As we feel the power of this truth, we are healed.

I realized that my friend’s words, “You’re not who you think you are,” were a supportive invitation to turn my thought away from suffering toward a new, restorative view about myself. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (referring to “Science” as demonstrable Truth), “The Science of being furnishes the rule of perfection, and brings immortality to light” (p. 336).

Expectantly, I prayed with a sincere desire to know my genuine, harmonious, spiritual selfhood. As I became willing to let go of the belief that I could be separated from God’s goodness, I started to grasp my fundamental nature as an expression of the one perfect God.

Soon I gained a sweet confidence that as Spirit’s likeness, I couldn’t be compromised. I’d felt vulnerable and afraid. Now I felt cared for, safe, and peaceful. I quickly regained strength and the congestion cleared, and I gave my presentation with ease.

Sickness, suffering, and limitation aren’t truly part of anyone’s being. Real identity is a healthy, well, and unlimited spiritual expression of God. What a joy to have this true identity come to light – overcoming the effects of a mistaken identity – enabling us to get up and go forward strong and free as God made us to be.

New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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