Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Or, as I’d like to say, there’s only one God, one power operating in your life!
In the study of Christian Science, there are seven Bible-based synonyms we attribute to God: Love, Life, Truth, Mind, Soul, Spirit, and Principle.
When I think Love, I think divine Love, not human love. Focusing on divine Love doesn’t mean you can’t love all of the great people in your life. To have God front and center opens the door to seeing the purity of God in the love you express in your life. Instead of jealousy, domination, and obsession, you’ll see more patience, compassion, and helpfulness. Hatred? It just can’t exist in the all-presence of God, Love.
When I think Life, I think Being. God as the only Life, means we are expressions of that one Life. We don’t have our own little lives to maintain, or to try not to lose. Life’s attributes like vibrancy, activity, freedom, vitality, and energy are natural expressions of Life. Since they’re spiritual qualities, they aren’t hooked to mortality. We get to keep those qualities for eternity. Notice them in yourself and others!
When I think Truth and Mind, I think rock solid stability, reality, right thinking. To have only one Mind, or Truth means you’re not swayed by human opinions and the world’s view of things. It means there’s only one intelligence running the universe: It’s God. I know, it doesn’t seem that way at times, but to acknowledge the permanent presence and power of God as the only Mind, or Truth is to be less impressed by mere opinion or fake news. Seeing that the world is founded on the rock-solid nature of God, or infinite Truth, brings stability instead of chaos clearly into view.
When I think Spirit, I think substance. Your substance, right there at the core of your being, is spiritual. Not a mixture of materiality and spirituality—but completely spiritual. The material senses may not agree, but consider this: The biblical book of Genesis says that all of us are made in the image and likeness of God. It follows, that we are made of the same substance as God is—Spirit. We are spiritual. Not later, but now. It makes perfect sense. The image of something has to be like its original. When you’re walking your daily life, spiritualize your concept of everything around you. Then you’ll start to glimpse that things are less about materiality and more permanent than they seem at first glance. That tree? It represents beauty, stability, shelter. That squirrel? I see ingenuity and activity. That field of sunflowers? Definitely obedient to following the light!
When I think Soul, I think identity itself. Since there’s only one God, or Soul, there can be only one divine identity. Mrs. Eddy includes a glossary definition of I, or Ego, in the textbook of Christian Science. She writes, “There is but one I, or Us, but one divine Principle, or Mind, governing all existence; man and woman unchanged forever in their individual characters, even as numbers which never blend with each other, though they are governed by one Principle” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 588). Your identity as a member of God’s loved creation is good and everlasting. You and God are one—the creator and the creation. Acknowledge and enjoy your coexistence with Soul as the expression of His nature. You and God are the divine Us.
And what about Principle? It’s not commonly associated with God. When I think Principle, I think law—God’s law. It’s the law of good underlining all existence. This divine law of perfection and goodness governs existence harmoniously. To recognize Good itself as the only cause, we can begin to see more of the effect of good in our lives.
That was the first commandment! Check in next Friday for thoughts on the second commandment.
I realize these are big ideas. It’s inspiring to think about them because it helps us to get a glimpse of the spiritual reality which the material senses can't even register.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into these ideas in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, click here.
Do you ever think about the ten commandments as just an old-fashioned list of things you can’t do? A bunch of “thou shalt nots”?
I read an article recently—it’s for kids, but don't worry, if you’re an adult you’ll get something out of it, too—about turning those commandments around and making them “thou shalts.” I thought it was a great suggestion, so I gave it a try. You’ll see what I mean as you read my blog each week!
If you’re not familiar with the ten commandments, or have forgotten one or two of them, here’s a list to remind you. If you want to read them in their entirety, or in several Bible translations, go to biblegateway.com and search for Exodus chapter 20.
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!