Don’t take this personally, but…
March 16, 2015
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)
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.