Upgrading our view of man
A cynic on a television comedy program was explaining some of the "facts" of life: You're born, you live, you die. And once you're gone, people don't really care.
In the context of the program his thoughts were amusing. Yet, they were saddening, too. A lifetime of honest effort is sometimes consigned to the wastebasket with a few casual remarks -- "She never was very strong." "He didn't amount to much."
Are we insignificant mortals, destined sooner or later to be forgotten? Christian Science draws us to the irresistible conclusion that we're not, that God hasn't made us that way, however convincing the physical senses are in persuading us otherwise.
We learn from the Bible that God is immortal, divine Love; that He is the intelligent creator of man and the universe. And throughout the Scriptures we're told of God's goodness. The prophet said, "The Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever." n1
n1 Jeremiah 33:11;
Man, then, isn't an insignificant mortal, a failure. He's God's immortal, valued offspring. No one can truly fade into oblivion, either her or hereafter. Each individuality is vital and eternal in God's sight, no matter how forgettable someone's life may seem from a finite perspective.
Pointing to the value and indispensableness of each one of us, Christ Jesus said: "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." n2
n2 Luke 12:6, 7.
Each of us has a vitally important position in life, both currently and eternally. That's true even for the person who, at the moment, seems unneeded or inadequate. The belief that anyone can be a flop stems from an inverted view of reality, not reality itself, which is the outcome of Love. What needs correcting isn't man but a distorted view of man. This picture doesn't have a divine origin. God knows each of us as worthy, as ideal. He has established a position and purpose for everyone -- not a narrow, humanly designed purpose but an immortal one that's expressed in distinct and enriching ways.
The distorted perception is the merchandise of materialistic thinking, which tags one person a failure, another obnoxious, another weak. But this is momentary appearance, in no way indicative of what God has actually fashioned, in no way a product of the one divine Mind, the only genuine source of thought and perception.
To view ourselves or others as spiritual, upright, isn't to ignore failure or wrongdoing but to help eradicate them, prove they're unrelated to man's actual being.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, "The great truth in the Science of being, that the real man was, is, and ever shall be perfect, is incontrovertible; for if man is the image, reflection, of God, he is neither inverted nor subverted, but upright and Godlike." n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 200.
How can we overhaul our concept of man? By asserting the truth of his immortality, of his worthiness. By making a steady effort to disbelieve what the senses report -- mortals coming, failing, going. And by striving to view ourselves more realistically -- not just as lovable or intelligent human beings but as spiritual inhabitants of God's universe, loved because we reflect divine Love, intelligent because we express boundless Mind.
Sometimes this work is difficult. We become impatient with ourselves and wish others would live up to a particular human standard. But through prayer, through quiet listening to what divine Mind is telling us about man, we're able to slice through the frustrating mortal view and glimpse something of reality.
It may be tempting to label a life insignificant. But our loyalty to divine reality, to a high view of man, impels us to take a more realistic stance. The spiritual, the perfect, is always the realistic, because it's what God has established. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24