Three little words

There’s healing power behind the idea that, because we’re all God’s children, “joy constitutes man” – as a woman experienced after waking up feeling out of sorts one morning.

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Not long ago, I woke up feeling out of sorts. I was tired, nothing from my morning spiritual study was sinking in, and I could easily have convinced myself I was starting to feel ill. I was facing a busy day of in-person meetings instead of the more typical seclusion of working remotely, and I needed to get on top of my game quickly.

So I reached out to God for inspiration, and a favorite sentence from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, came to mind. It says, “The sinless joy, – the perfect harmony and immortality of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness without a single bodily pleasure or pain, – constitutes the only veritable, indestructible man, whose being is spiritual” (p. 76).

That’s a long sentence, but the short version is, simply, that joy constitutes man. Here, “man” means each of us – male and female – as God’s child.

I wasn’t feeling very joyous, but I recognized this statement as a spiritual law. I thought about myself being made in God’s image and likeness. We express God, who is Spirit. And as His spiritual likeness, we express “the perfect harmony and immortality of Life,” which includes “unlimited divine beauty and goodness.” Clearly, feelings of fatigue or possible illness are not part of “unlimited ... goodness.”

I didn’t instantly feel more energetic, but as I started getting ready for the day, I stuck to the fact that these spiritual ideas were true – and that anything unlike them was a lie about myself as God’s spiritual offspring. We have an innate ability not to be tricked into believing lies about ourselves, because the all-good God would never allow that.

I headed to the office with the short version of that sentence – joy constitutes man – as my theme for the day. And that’s exactly how it turned out. I was healthy, happy, and productive – and very grateful for the practical, powerful truth behind those words.

Adapted from the Aug. 19, 2022, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.

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