Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Perfection, Human or Divine?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Perfection, Human or Divine?

Article excerpt

`BE ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." How many times I've read this in Matthew's Gospel with a little sigh! I felt I could "do my best" with Christ Jesus' counsel, but the idea of perfection seemed elusive. Until one day I thought about the rest of the verse, "Even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (5:48). Then I began to think. What kind of perfection are we talking about in reference to God? The words your Father gave me the clue. Throughout the New Testament, God is referred to as the Father of man. The study of Christian Science has shown me that man is created in God's image and likeness. Christ Jesus showed us that God is Spirit, whose actual creation is wholly spiritual. And our Master also demonstrated that man, God's image, must be a spiritual being, like his creator. This spiritual man therefore must be perfect, like his creator. Jesus' admonition to be perfect as the Father has to do with knowing God and His universe as wholly spiritual. To do this means that we need to refuse to accept ungodlike thoughts such as revenge and hate and strive to express our genuine, God-given qualities, such as love, forgiveness, and wisdom. As this goodness is reflected in our lives, it brings healing. The Bible, especially in the New Testament, provides guidelines for directing our thought as we align ourselves with divine perfection, the all-power of God's infinite goodness. Through our prayer and study, we see more of spiritual reality and divine harmony. Matter loses its importance as we see its unreality and begin to understand the universe of Spirit. Sickness and sin are healed when we perceive the actual perfection of God and His creation, including man. The desire to do right, to love, to be wise, are qualities of God hinting at our real, spiritual identity. Jesus came to illustrate and uncover these Godlike attributes, to demonstrate man's godliness. The real man is the reflection of God, divine Love, listening to and obeying only Him. …
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