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Spiritual certainty

WHEN I was a little girl, people in our town often greeted each other with the words ``What do you know for sure?'' This meant, more or less, ``Hello'' and didn't require a serious answer. When I grew up and began wondering how I would answer this question, all I could think to say was, ``Not much.'' At least, not much from a material standpoint.

I think most people would agree that in a material world of constant change and often questionable moral values, it's hard to be sure of very much. But I've learned in my study of Christian Science that it is possible, through the consecrated prayer that results in deep spiritual regeneration, to become absolutely certain of one thing: God's great love for His children -- and that means all of us, in our true spiritual being.

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Fine, you may be saying. But can someone accomplish this regeneration who may be feeling utterly miserable -- overworked, unappreciated, lonely, burdened by all sorts of things? What can a person do?

Christ Jesus said: ``Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.''1

Once when I was feeling particularly uncertain, unsure of myself, overworked, and discouraged, I found this wonderful Bible passage. I had read it often before, but this time, instead of just thinking of it as a beautiful statement made by the Master centuries ago, I decided to apply it to myself, right then.

``Learn of me,'' Jesus had said. ``I am meek and lowly in heart.'' So my learning of Jesus' goodness, of the Christ-power that animated everything he did, began as I meekly tried to be more Christlike myself. Instead of giving in to feeling heavy-hearted and unappreciated in work I wasn't very good at, I began to fill my thinking with gratitude for God's love. And the more grateful I became for His unlimited tenderness, the more appreciative I was that I had a job at all and that my colleagues somehow put up with my struggle to handle it.

Little by little, as I prayed to express grace and lovingkindness more consistently, this job evolved into something I was good at. And my new work earned me not only heartfelt appreciation but a substantial raise as well!

In my effort to be more Christlike -- to think and act in a more loving and gracious manner -- I had drawn closer to God, consciously acknowledging His presence and talking to Him as one does to a beloved friend. In doing this I gained a glimpse of what living from a spiritual standpoint could mean. And it brought healing both to the work situation and to the rest of my life. I was able to control and eventually wipe out nagging little sins of disposition: a tendency to be aloof and distant with people, self-centeredness, self-will, and more. This was accomplished by humbly asking God, every day, to help me love more and live a better, more spiritual life; to live more in harmony with the reality of man's spiritual perfection as God's likeness.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``We all must learn that Life is God. Ask yourself: Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good? Am I demonstrating the healing power of Truth and Love? If so, then the way will grow brighter `unto the perfect day.' Your fruits will prove what the understanding of God brings to man. Hold perpetually this thought, -- that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being.''2 The more adept I grew at living a life that more nearly approached God's goodness, replacing old critical and short-tempered attitudes with patience and Christly grace, the more certain I became of my true being.

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So what do I know for sure today? That God is Love; that He fills all space; that nothing is real which He doesn't create -- and He creates only good. You can know this too. The way does indeed grow brighter as we humbly yield to the spiritual certainty of God's all-embracing love.

1Matthew 11: 28-30. 2Science and Health, p. 496. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. I John 4:9{et

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