The Pain of Belief
January 24, 2014
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you discovered that something you had believed – and suffered for – turned out to be untrue? Maybe it was a viewpoint you were holding about someone else that was based on false information. Or maybe it was regarding an event that never really happened. These things that seem so real seem to trigger responses – that also seem so real. But if the procuring cause is incorrect, then its consequence is also incorrect. Thus we learn that reaction is based on opinion and interpretation, not fact.
Mary Baker Eddy writes, “A blundering despatch, mistakenly announcing the death of a friend, occasions the same grief that the friend’s real death would bring. You think that your anguish is occasioned by your loss. Another despatch, correcting the mistake, heals your grief, and you learn that your suffering was merely the result of your belief. If a Christian Scientist had said, while you were laboring under the influence of the belief of grief, “Your sorrow is without cause,” you would not have understood him, although the correctness of the assertion might afterwards be proved to you.” (Science and Health page 386)
The disciples’ suffering at the crucifixion was very real. They were devastated by Jesus’ death, so much so that they couldn’t imagine going forward as disciples. They became fishermen again. But Jesus had told them time and time again what would happen. It simply was so unimaginable that the disciples couldn’t comprehend its possibility. Gratefully, Jesus’ resurrection set the record straight, convinced the disciples of the truth of their Master’s words, and got them back on track. They then went on to do the works that he had done.
Next time you find yourself reacting to news or events, take a moment to consider what’s really going on. Step back from your immediate response to thoughtfully uncover the truer story and your capacity to deal with it. You may find that your pause helps you to be clearer about the situation and your ability to resolve it. You may find that what you think happened wasn’t what really happened. And in that moment of reconsideration, you may hear the words Jesus tenderly spoke to his disciples, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” (Mark 6:50)
Once you begin to understand that the pain of believing something that isn’t true can be diverted and ultimately dismissed – simply by learning the truth – you can begin to apply the same understanding to the belief of pain. In both cases, you’re simply gaining a clearer comprehension of what’s actually going on. Jesus mapped it out for us: he lived it and taught it. We can learn from his example and prove it too.
Whether it’s the pain of belief or the belief of pain, you too can rise above its seeming reality and find a new view that helps and heals. That new worldview is good for all of us.
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.