To beautify the body
Fashion magazines emphasize the "perfect youthful look" and how to achieve it. The implication may be that the modern man or woman will gain new identity, success, and happiness merely through stylish dress, proper diet, and exercise.
Looking attractive is appropriate at any time. But clothes and diet, of themselves, have no more power to transform one's life than does a new sole on one's shoe!
Man is a spiritual idea, not a physique of fragile beauty. His substance is the one infinite Life -- God. He is never less than the complete, the vital image of life. This is the true character of every man and woman. It always exists, and it needs no help from physical additions or rituals. It can be found through prayer.
Trouble sometimes starts when we are so absorbed in ourselves that we are blind to our true being. Then we begin looking for fulfillment through accretion or some material change.
Immortal men and women were never made from matter and never need a change from what God made them. In Psalms we read, "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." n1
n1 Psalms 17:15.
Knowing man is made in God's likeness, we needn't feel depressed, frustrated, or envious if the human body doesn't imitate the fashionable mold. Nor should we ever feel conceited if you our physique does happen to measure up to the modern standard. True attractivenss has much more to do with the mental than with the physical state.
Mary Baker Eddy n2 gives a universal fact of life: "One says: 'I take good care of my body.' To do this, the pure and exalting influence of the divine Mind on the body is requisite, and the Christian Scientist takes the best care of his body when he leaves it most out of his thought, and, like the Apostle Paul, is 'willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.'" n 3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 383.
Every moment, each of us can express beauty, grace, radiance, and perfect health. And why not? These eternal qualities of Life are constant elements of our spiritual identity. The fact that man reflects Life's qualities denies legitimacy to ugliness, deformity, and incompleteness. We can be confident that as we pray for a greater understanding of our true substance and drop addiction to matter and its various forms of sensation, we will find a restful beauty that far surpasses merely physical glamour.
There is no Life, no God, in matter. Mortal mind and body are inverted likeness, misrepresentations of the real man and Mind. Trying to get happiness and success by working matter into shape is part of the dream of life in matter. Instead, our mental condition needs to be shaped by the divine artistry of Soul.
Soul is Life. We need daily to exercise our Soul-sense, our spiritual understanding of God, by livingm that understanding, letting it shape our lives. When we do, we will discover our true identity, inseparable from God. And we will find in breathtaking forms the beauty of man. Mrs. Eddy writes, "The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and [Word Illegible] to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony." n4
n4 ibid.,m pp. 247-248.
We won't be slaves to fashion, yet we will be authentically beautiful, when we realize the God supplies man with all true quality, outline, and color. In the Bible Christ Jesus says: "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" n5
n5 Matthew 6:25.
Our lives will be transformed when we identify outselves as the flawless reflections of Soul. DAILY BIBLE VERSE For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. II Corinthians 4:6