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Presenting the right image of ourselves

WE may wonder, sometimes, why our businesses aren't prospering as they should, or why our homes aren't harmonious, or why we don't have the companionship we long for. The trouble might be that we are neither entertaining nor presenting a right image of ourselves. If we are seeing ourselves as deprived, imposed upon, unfor tunate--as victimized mortals separate from God's care--we're letting the whole mental atmosphere surrounding us become darkened. Such thinking can repel progress and affection. Many years ago I defaulted on the opportunity to help a lovely young couple. The self-pity and defeatism they saw in me turned them away from me not only as a friend but also as a benefactor who could probably have done much for them. The lesson in this can be relevant to all of us.

As Christian Science teaches, such a discordant sense of oneself as I presented, based on the common conviction that physique, temperament, and mortal history define our identity, gives a distorted presentation of what we really are as sons and daughters of God. It teaches that, in the eternal truth of our being as God's offspring, we reflect Him, infinite Mind, ever-present Spirit, the harmonious Principle of all that is lasting and divinely real. God's man is not a mortal personality but Mind's idea, consciously manifesting all the goodness and strength of the divine nature. We are, in fact, God's own expression, spiritual and free!

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In the textbook of Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of this Science, we read: ``Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas.'' 1 How could that which reflects the infinitude and perfection of God lack any good thing? It couldn't--and it doesn't.

Mortals do appear deprived, limited, but our true selfhood isn't mortal, despite appearances. God's creation can only express God's immortal nature. You and I are, in reality, God's man, the object of His love, the beneficiary of all the blessings His infinite benevolence is pouring out continuously.

God is the Father-Mother of us all. He does not leave us comfortless. But we need to be in harmony with Him, to turn His way in prayer and see to it that our thinking regarding ourselves (and everyone) proceeds out from the orderly divine source, rather than up from the rocky mental plateau of material existence. In proportion as we do this, the mesmerism of deprivation is broken, and we find the answers we need.

Then fears recede. A sense of well- being develops, and a new peace begins to dawn. Our consciousness of the majesty and joy of spiritual being washes away the unhealthy impressions and mental scars that may have seemed engraved on our memories. Forgiveness, compassion, and wisdom take over where willfulness and pride once ran the show.

What is the outcome? Our good endeavors succeed more readily, our fam- ily life becomes more harmonious, and health improves; the touch of the healing Christ-power is felt in every department of our lives!

``And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me,'' 2 the Way-shower, Christ Jesus, assured us. ``Let your light so shine before men,'' he said, ``that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.'' 3

Yes, we certainly can do a better job of spiritually lifting up our concept of ourselves. We can appreciate and honor what God has made us to be, and face each day with a sense of that God-given dominion which glorifies Him. We can present the true and authentic image of ourselves as God's children and heirs of Christ, sustained and beloved.

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Letting our light shine--not just within a narrow, self-centered range but in an expansive, all-encompassing way-- we'll help to bless and enlighten the world.

1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 475. 2 John 12:32. 3 Matthew 5:16. DAILY BIBLE VERSE O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! . . . What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.

Psalms 8:1, 4, 5

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