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Redeem the Past

DO you ever wear away hours mulling over the past? Perhaps you even fight inner battles over something that happened years ago. Maybe you are haunted by memories of past mistakes -- yours or others'. Is there any way to be free of such anxiety? Yes -- the Bible offers you a way of escape. Look at some of those who went beyond troubled pasts to become great spiritual leaders. Moses had spent years in exile, but he led a nation out of slavery. Paul was responsible for the persecution of many early Christians, yet he became a courageous defender of Christianity. The Bible is full of stories of lives transformed.

If you are struggling with guilt over the past or feelings of worthlessness, John has good news. He says, ``Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.'' And he goes on to tell his listeners -- to tell us -- ``Beloved, now are we the sons of God.''1

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The Bible assures us that we are all the children of God's creating, each with a distinct, spiritual identity; we are precious and valuable to God. None of God's children is a worthless sinner. Each has the God-given ability to be good and do good, regardless of what has happened in the past. Understanding that our spiritual nature is our real selfhood enables us to break free of old, destructive habits of thought and behavior. We can truly unburden ourselves of the past through spiritual regeneration.

Our lives can be redeemed through the power and love of the healing and saving Christ. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains: ``The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship.''2

When we return, through prayer, to being where we have always really belonged -- with our heavenly Father -- we can turn away from the past that is haunting us. Our true spiritual identity, the real man of God's creating, is innocent, has never been separate from God's love. We can recognize that we are capable, now, of expressing our real, Godlike nature to the fullest possible extent -- including making just restitution for past errors if this is necessary.

Jesus embodied Christ. He was our Way-shower, and he demonstrated divine sonship to perfection. We follow him when we live in obedience to the Father's will and express the divine nature.

A crowd of people brought a woman taken in adultery to Jesus and asked him if she should be stoned in accordance with the Mosaic law. After they repeatedly questioned him, he replied: ``He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.'' They went out one by one until only the woman was left. Jesus said to her, ``Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.''3 When a sin is repented of and forsaken, we can be truly free from it.

Mrs. Eddy assures us: ``The purpose and motive to live aright can be gained now. This point won, you have started as you should.''4 Isn't now the best time to begin to free ourselves of the limitations of the past?

1I John 3:1, 2. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 316. 3John 8:7, 11. 4Science and Health, p. 326.

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The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.

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