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Spiritual identity versus material roots

MANY people today have become interested in the study of human ancestry. They want to discover their ``roots,'' find out more about their origin. It's an understandable desire. But if God is our creator, doesn't a search for our genuine origin need to go deeper and farther than even the best, most thorough material history? What if we energetically sought out our spiritual heritage, our true identity as the man of God's creating?

Throughout his career Christ Jesus acknowledged, indeed insisted upon, his divine sonship. He said, ``Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.'' 1 Certainly we're to love our parents and respect them. One of the Commandments instructs, ``Honour thy father and thy mother.'' 2 Yet we also need to look farther and see that everyone's true Father and Mother is God Himself.

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Jesus knew it was his divine nature, or Christ, that made it possible for him to heal sin and disease. By his example he taught us how to rise above a carnal concept of ourselves, to perceive our unfailing relationship to God, our unity with Him as His spiritual, eternal offspring. Once while visiting in another state, where my mother's parents had lived, I spent some time delving into archives, tracing ancestors. What I found seemed satisfying, but the more I delved, the more frustrated and confused I became. Feeling quite ill, I returned to my hotel room, where I spent the remainder of the afternoon in prayer.

I turned to the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.3 I read in the Bible, ``Beloved, now are we the sons of God.'' 4 And in Science and Health, ``God is the parent Mind, and man is God's spiritual offspring.'' 5

I saw that I must look beyond the commonly held conviction that one's existence is the product of human ancestors--that because ``they'' were, I am. I realized that the concept of creation in matter, with its ills, could not touch my real selfhood.

To learn more about God's nature is to increase our understanding of our status as His offspring. Any ambiguities or mysteries that might have troubled us will begin to disappear. When we identify ourselves more fully as God's likeness and strive to reflect His spiritual qualities, such as love, integrity, wisdom, and purity, we find a deeper, more genuine feeling of completeness. We come to see the real origin of the good we express, and we begin to see how we can find healing of the troubles we may have attributed to our ancestry.

Bondage to sin and sickness, divisiveness between races, creeds, and nations, would be less prevalent if more individuals realized their unity with God, the Father of all, and accepted the bountiful largess of His love, thereby expressing even more of the divine nature.

``The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man's origin,'' 6 writes Mrs. Eddy. To begin to glimpse through prayer that we're not, in our true selfhood, products of the flesh or victims of it, is to open the door to greater freedom, for ourselves and others.

1 Matthew 23:9. 2 Exodus 20:12. 3 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4 I John 3:2. 5 Science and Health, p. 336. 6 Ibid., p. 262. Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. Romans 8:16,17

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