Thank you and I love you

March 28, 2015

Gratitude and affection are two of the greatest cures for just about anything.  Especially when neither of them is our first choice.  Often we’d rather withhold them and be resentful or self-righteous or unhappy instead!

But those qualities of thought and their ensuing actions, only serve to extend the problem and alienate the participants.

What did Jesus do?  And why is it important to know?

First of all, Jesus was the Way. (John 14:6)  That means that his words and works were a way of redemption and salvation, a way of being one with his Father, just as he was.  (John 17:21)  But he also was a model, an example; a way of behavior for his followers.  (John 14:12)

Did Jesus practice or preach resentment or self-righteousness or any other of the numerous expressions of fear and hate?  No, of course not.  He was the master of love and compassion, under all circumstances.  That deep affection, for both God and man, brought health, calm, sustenance, and safety at all times.

And his gratitude to God for every healing transaction, large and small, determined a more holy outcome.  He never failed to be blessed by his heavenly Father, and to bless those around him as a result.

Think back to when you had a misunderstanding with someone that wasn’t resolved.  It’s easy to replay that event over and over, to imagine saying or doing something different. Often, we picture telling them what we really think.  But the truth is, the only cure is gratitude and affection.  In your mind’s eye, replay the event with you saying thank you and I love you.  And expecting nothing in return.

This is not a gimmick when based on the power of God, as Jesus based it.  It’s the natural outpouring of God’s own love for His creation.  Realizing your spiritual relationship with Him, and its effects, gives your gratitude and affection authenticity.  Then, regardless of the other’s response, you’ve moved the conversation in a new direction, one with a holier basis.

This takes practice and patience.  And in the face of occasional lack of improvement, it takes persistence.  But every effort to give in this way is a shift in the conversation.  And blessings will follow.

I wish to say to you – dear readers, known and unknown – thank you and I love you.

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.

After hearing that, it’s very hard NOT to take it personally.  In fact, it seems that we take everything personally: it’s always all about some person or personality – usually our own! Christian Science calls this “personal sense.”  In a nutshell it means that whatever happened – usually something some person did – I’m taking it personally.  While it doesn’t seem like we can do much about what “some person” did, we can sure do something about taking it personally.

In fact, it’s important that we do.  Because our happiness – and our health – depend on it.

So often, our conclusions about happiness, contentment, satisfaction, are based on people or circumstances.  Those personal details are simply too inconsistent to provide anything more than temporary fulfillment.  If all the factors influencing our joy are transitory, then so is our joy.

Building contentment on something better than personal sense means turning to what Christian Science calls spiritual sense: a sense of (understanding of) Spirit.  Spirit, God, is unchanging good, invariable harmony, eternal Truth.  Basing our view of our own and others’ experience on this solid foundation means that it will be as consistent as God is.  And, it’s in keeping with the First Commandment.  (Ex. 20:3)

How so?

To have one God and none other is to keep all cause godlike, like good.  To give cause to persons or circumstances, not only takes it away from God but makes it subject to great variation.  The Apostle James says that God is without “variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  (1:17)  Therefore His care is equally stable and secure.  Personal sense denies this.  But spiritual sense agrees wholly with this divine view, and brings both peace and order to anyone who makes it his or her own.

Jesus practiced this in his healing and teaching ministry.  He recognized the divine influence in every circumstance, stilling the storm, passing through the angry crowd unhurt, raising the dead.  Could he have done that if he based his outlook solely on personal sense?  No.  He would have been just as perplexed as those around him.  Instead, he quieted a personal sense of things and sought a spiritual sense – God’s view – and brought that to bear in his own life, and in the lives of his followers.  He said, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”  (John 5:30)

We can learn to do the same thing.  We can learn to stop being impressed with or influenced by what’s going on around us and look to our heavenly Father for what He says.  It will enable us to find a more solid peace, a deeper calm, and better health.  Jesus promised, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.”  (John 14:12)

The only thing we need to take personally is the very real love that God has for us.  And spiritual sense makes it very plain.

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.