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Self-surrender – loss or gain?

A Christian Science perspective.

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Many Christians are now observing Lent – a period of 40 days before Easter involving fasting or sacrificing something they cherish, in remembrance of all that Jesus did for humanity.

To me, sacrifice can be seen as the moment-by-moment willingness to put aside material thinking. It means surrendering my personal desires, plans, and motives in order to be more faithful to God's will. His will is always good, and I'm learning that when I'm obedient to it, I'm expressing my identity as His child, made in the image of Love.

As God's likeness, we possess the wholeness, goodness, and power of Love right here and right now, and therefore nothing can be missing. God's love reveals the unbroken, harmonious, spiritual identity we each have.

"To be carnally minded is death," wrote Paul to the Christians in Rome, "but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:6, 7). The carnal mind is always self-centered and dissatisfied. It creates its own envy because it never has enough goodness. It produces its own resentment because it always feels wronged. It always suffers from its inherent selfishness, and is never at peace.

This Easter season, as I reread the account of Jesus's crucifixion, it became clear to me that it was this carnal mind, this material state of thought, that was trying to destroy him through aggression and arrogant power. By contrast, Jesus was willing to sacrifice even his life in order to prove the power and might of God's law to preserve not just himself, but everyone. This was showing each of us that we need to turn away from the carnal mind and yield to God's will in order to find the greatest happiness and blessings.

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