Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Permanent Reformation Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to World Events and Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Permanent Reformation Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to World Events and Daily Life

Article excerpt

THE Bible tells that Christ Jesus destroyed sin throughout his ministry. In doing this, he often associated with people thought to be sinners, and even welcomed them into his midst. I guess that's why it's no surprise Jesus was often condemned himself. But just his being with sinners wasn't what healed them. It was his understanding of their spiritual identities. He saw each so-called sinner as the child of God, not the child of sin.

Recognizing them as perfect and sinless enabled Jesus to heal, for example in the case of an adulterous woman (see John 8:3-11). Now, the Jewish law was strict and unforgiving concerning adultery. It allowed that this woman could face a gruesome death for having committed adultery. Through his spiritual understanding, Jesus not only effectively saved the woman's life; he also directed her to stop breaking the law.

Jesus perceived the sin in others but he also saw past the sin. And it was this ability that brought healing. What exactly did Jesus see? It was this-that the person who appeared to be a sinner to everyone else must actually be the image of God, and therefore must be good. He fostered a willingness to repent, and then to be and do good. He perceived the God-given, sinless nature of everyone. He perceived a readiness for reformation. In the case of the adulterous woman, St. John wrote that Jesus said to her accusers, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (verse 7). When he was later told that not one of them had assailed her, he said, "Neither do I condemn thee:go, and sin no more" (verse 11). We might ask ourselves if we're as willing to bring reform to our own lives-willing to change our ways. Is it really possible to be permanently renewed? Yes. Reformation is not only possible but permanent when sought in God. Through prayer and watchfulness, we can turn our lives around. This is what Christian Science-a religion based on the teachings of Jesus-assures. If you aren't happy with some action you took, or the way you've been living your life, you can seek and find permanent reformation. …

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