A humorous title to me now, but before, teenager-me didn’t think so. I remember often writing off that I was a Christian Scientist, hoping that my boyfriend’s parents wouldn’t ask me what church I went to, or even trying to defend myself when people were hostile with me as a child about Christian Science-- as they were given misinformation about it.
Looking back, the times when I was the most hesitant about sharing Christian Science, there was always one common denominator-- Thought was on me. How will this make me look, what will people think of me if they find out, will this be an uncomfortable or an embarrassing conversation for me to participate in?
It’s funny, because it almost sounds like this was something I had been forced into, as if I was ashamed of it. But that actually wasn’t the case at all. Although Christian Science had been in my family for many generations, at that time I was really discovering CS for myself and making it feel like my own, not just what “the adults” studied. I really loved Christian Science and I did not want to have to hide that anymore. And also... When did I decide this was something that needed to be hid from others?!
For me, this practice always felt like it revolved around the idea that “God is Love.” What could possibly be uncool or embarrassing about that? True, people statistically don’t talk about religion as much, but who said a statistic had to determine the way I live my life? :) I had to get real in my prayer. Is this the real deal/the Truth, or is it not? Because it certainly cannot be both. My prayer and study naturally guided me to see this idea of God as love (that heals too!) as the Truth. I wondered, Well, if this is the Truth and I am blessed to have this and if I have benefitted greatly from this- in ways I cannot even put into words, why am I selfishly withholding this from others? That idea of “self” came to mind again.
I thought some more. If I had to bring one item to a desert island, I would want to bring my Science and Health! (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy) This book has opened up the Bible to me and helped me get a better understanding of God as an all-loving, ever-present Parent and help. So if this would be the top pick for a desert-island on-the-beach type of read, then why would I hide this from others? This is gold!
When I finally let go of this sense of self my perspective changed about telling people I study Christian Science... “You know what. This is who I am and yes, I love God and yes, I love Christian Science. If hypothetically, people weren’t cool with that, then it doesn’t have to affect me and I’m not going to allow that to worry me, or get in the way of helping another.” This confidence actually allowed me to share some helpful ideas with friends. For me, I never lost any of my friends over this either. It almost seemed that these friends appreciated what I was doing, as they saw more goodness demonstrated in my experience.
It should be noted that Christian Scientists don’t try to convert or proselytize. We do share Christian Science others who are open, but I personally don’t believe in willfully trying to change someone’s path… As it’s unloving to present an idea with unwanted force. When others convert, the thought is that it is an unselfish action because the point is to save others for their sin. But as far as Christian Science goes, in my perspective, it’s the opposite of wanting to save someone from their sins. It’s not about fixing a broken mortal. This Bible teaches us that God made us all “very good.” And catching glimpses of this fact and learning more about our innate goodness in God, only brings about more goodness as that thought unfolds in our experience. This knowledge even heals.
I’m not saying we have to go out and be a Christian Science “poster child” nor is that encouraged, as humility and freedom from self-righteousness are important desires for the Christian Scientist. Instead, we can be confident in our study of God and if one feels inspired to share with another, that can only bless.
Now, I get to talk about it every day. Not just in the occupation of a Christian Science Practitioner, but in any day-to-day conversation. You basically cannot meet anyone these days without them saying, “What’s your name, what do you do for a living?” These days, I share joyfully and even look forward to sharing. It’s exciting to share what a blessing this has been for me, but also to see the smile on another’s face when they hear that they are loved and that despite what they think about themselves... God sees us as completely good. Some people haven’t even heard that they are loved, let alone “good” before. What a concept!
I love Mrs. Eddy’s words, “Give them a cup of cold water in Christ's name, and never fear the consequences.” (SH 570:16–18)
If you'd like more info on Christian Science, you can visit ChristianScience.com
Your thoughts, comments, follow-up questions are invited. My email is, ElainaSimpsonCS@gmail.com But also ANY Christian Science Practitioner can answer your questions. There is a directory in the back of the Christian Science Journal. :) Have a lovely evening,
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