When I was a boy, a favorite taunt between pals was, ''When God made ya, He left out the brains!'' Usually the remark was made in fun. But serious attitudes underlie most popular sayings, and I got to thinking recently that our barb was no exception.
Nearly everyone believes he is deficient in some respect, perhaps in poise or in health, in intelligence or beauty. Such a viewpoint implies a flawed creator , an insufficient Principle of being. Yet the Bible teaches that God is the perfect creator of the universe-that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent-and that man is His offspring. Christ Jesus' words bear this out: ''Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.'' 1
Christian Science, in accord with the Bible, teaches that perfection is the real status of man, though we need to prove this, by degrees, through following Jesus' teachings and example. Man is spiritual, immortal. He eternally expresses intelligence and fruitfulness and is created in the likeness of his Maker. Writing of man's true origin, Mary Baker Eddy2 states, ''We learn in the Scriptures, as in divine Science, that God made all; that He is the universal Father and Mother of man; that God is divine Love: therefore divine Love is the divine Principle of the divine idea named man; in other words, the spiritual Principle of spiritual man.'' 3
The mortal, sensual view of man, then, is false, the erroneous product of material- mindedness, not of the one infinitely good divine Mind, God, which is our actual Mind and the only genuine source of truth. The material senses cannot reveal truth, cannot reveal perfect God and perfect man. Yet spiritual sense, awakened through prayer and through the living of Jesus' teachings, can discern good, God. By cultivating our spiritual sense and realizing the truth of being, we can reverse the physical senses' false reports. The coming to light of everyone's true selfhood is inevitable. ''This corruptible must put on incorruption,'' the Bible proclaims, ''and this mortal must put on immortality.'' 4
Suppose we work with someone who has an annoying habit of frequently being late. Yet, once on the job, this individual is unusually kind and thoughtful toward co-workers. The evil report of laziness, apathy, selfish indifference to others' schedules, does not derive from perfect Principle, while the warmth in this person's nature can proceed only from God, the source of all good. To recognize the positive traits as based on the divinely real, the negative traits on the sensuous unreal, is effective prayer.
In Christian Science one wouldn't give specific treatment to another unless asked to do so. But we all have a right and an obligation to defend ourselves from holding false views of others. If we stick to the perfect view of man, those around us, too, will feel the healing influence of this Christlike view. Mrs. Eddy writes, ''Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.'' 5
Our heritage is perfection, and we have a divine right to claim it for ourselves and others - now.
1 Matthew 5:48. 2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 186. 4 I Corinthians 15:53. 5 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 210. DAILY BIBLE VERSE What is man, that thou art mindful of him?... thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy lands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. Hebrews 2:6-8