“Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?”
The universe is maintained by the presence and power of God: and the great truth of God’s infinite presence is wholeness here and now. Wholeness means the perfection of the universe at every point. It means health and power. We realize wholeness through a conscious knowledge of God. Let us bring this truth into personal application: I, the individual, live in wholeness now. I live by the power of wholeness; I live because of it. My normal estate is abundant life, beauty, and goodness.
We are whole by our birthright, but we must realize wholeness in our thinking. The life that is whole is free from unbelief, from ignorance and its consequences; it is alive, joyous, powerful.
In Divine Science we affirm our power to realize wholeness. We can realize it because of the constitution of the universe as a living organism. We can realize wholeness because we are what we are—Sons of God. God is wholeness itself.
The most beautiful of all impulses is the longing for wholeness, beauty, and goodness. This is the divine urge. It is recognized in the amoeba which is attracted by the sunlight and makes an effort to grow. As it is with this tiny expression of life, so it is with all of us. When we are attracted by God’s presence, we rise and endeavor to attain. Men are endeavoring to know more and more of God through continuous unfoldment. Every part is essential to the whole; therefore every expression is essential to God; God needs me, the individual.
There is no more vital question than the one that Jesus asked of the man at the pool of Bethesda: “Wilt thou be made whole?” It is a question that each one must ask himself and answer for himself. To be made whole we must be willing to come into the realization of our divine birthright. The question that Jesus asked means, are we willing to accept and fulfill the conditions of wholeness? Jesus has shown us the way of wholeness; it is love. His was a love so great that included all individuals and all nations; every grade of human society was included in His realization of the oneness of God and man. He could touch a life wherever it was in development. Jesus condemned the sin, but not the sinner, and He never withheld Himself from one who needed Him.
The prophet, Micah, has left us an excellent interpretation of goodness or wholeness. He says: “He hath shewed thee, O man what is good; and what doth the Lord require of the, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
“To do justly” means to realize the meaning of and to practice integrity. The practice of integrity! This is what the Lord requires of that great love which the Father has for each one of us, we shall fulfill the highest ideal for man.
“To love mercy” means to have perfect forgiveness and to serve without thought of self. Heaven is love, and he who would have heaven must love supremely, universally, and impersonally.
“To walk humbly with thy God”—Jesus walked humbly with His God; He said that He could do nothing of Himself, that it was the Father who was doing the works. The great souls, those whose lives have served to lift the world, have seen that it is not the man as an individual who is doing the work, but that it is done through practicing the principle of oneness with God.
Love! Love! Love! The best definition of love I have ever heard is: “Love is sharing your life with others.” This is God’s way, for He is always sharing His life with us. It is the fulfilling of all the law. All the law and all the prophets are fulfilled in the practice of the presence of love. Within each one of us is the power that heals the inner man; it is love divine and universal.
Love casts out all fear, all envy, and all hatred. And the man who loves stands forth in the glory of his consciousness of resurrection and ascension, for the resurrection and ascension consciousness is the consciousness of perfect love. Love is the way of wholeness. There is no other way.
“Wilt thou be made whole?”
Jesus asked the question of the man at the pool of Bethesda to show us that we have much to do with our own healing. We must be earnest is our desire to be made whole. Jesus says: “Be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” There is a reason why some are healed and others are not. Faith and willingness are essentials in the attitude of him who would be healed. Jacob would not let the angel go until he had blessed him, for he was seeking healing with deep earnestness. Let us persist until we find. If we are willing we can be made whole.
From the Godward side we are healed now. Let us use the divine treasure of health which is ours. The story of the earth affords us a helpful illustration. There was every conceivable treasure, but the earth did not yield up these treasures. Men had to seek for these and then learn to use them. Seeking, finding, and using the gifts of God to man have brought to us the wonders of the present day.
Persistent right action without, and the consecrated desire to be made whole within, leads us to the realization of wholeness.
Decision, faith, persistence! Seeking, finding, understanding! These are the qualities and characteristics that lead us to the realization of wholeness.
The Divine Scientist responds to Jesus’ question, “Wilt thou be made whole?” by deciding to know Truth, and by persistent faith in standing true to Truth. Thought training is our method—love, our way—wholeness, our goal.
What is Healing?
Healing is one of the great gifts that the present generation has had restored to it. The light of healing has never been extinguished; there have been times in the world’s history when it has burned dimly, and other times when the light has been very bright. Today there is more light than there ever has been in the world’s story. Healing is God’s gift to man. It is of the Spirit. In this century much of the healing thought has been centered on restoring bodily harmony and well-being in general. Jesus enriched the conception of healing during His ministry; and it is to His conception that our thinking on healing should be directed. Jesus showed that healing belongs to the entire man; the whole man must be cleansed. He did not dwell on bodily habits; Jesus did not ask, “Do you sleep well and do you eat well? How are your temperature and pulse?” Our supreme Teacher did not deal with external physical habits. Why not? Because He knew God, and knowing God with definite conscious power, He knew the great realities of the universe; other things He saw as shadows of human belief. If you and I know and live as Jesus did, we learn to heal in the same powerful way.
Let us turn for a few moments to the words of our great Guide. To the paralytic He said, “Son, be of good cheer; they sins be forgiven thee.” To the man at the pool of Bethesda, His words were, “Behold, thou are made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” He said this, also, to the ten lepers and to the blind man of Jericho; and to two other blind men, He said, “According to your faith be it unto you.” To the father of the lunatic son, His words were, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” His conviction concerning the daughter of Jairus was deep: “Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”
There are, in the sayings of Jesus concerning healing, two outstanding implications: the first is that sin causes sickness; the second, that healing comes through forgiveness. What do these mean? What is sin? Here are two satisfactory definitions: the first from Paul, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Another is from the Presbyterian Catechism, “Sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God.” You would not like it if, upon your telling me that you are not well, I should say to you, “You have been sinning.” And yet, according to the real meaning of the word, the sick are sinners. In the Hebrew, the word sin means a falling short; in the Greek, it implies a missing of the mark. Is there a day in which we do not fall short of knowing God as the immediate presence of health, life, peace, power, and joy? Is there a day in which we do not miss the mark in our thinking and feeling? Paul tells us that whatsoever is not of the Father is sin.
Every thought that we think which is dependent on that which is not of God is a transgression of the law of God. The law of God is love; every thought or deed that is unloving is sin and is followed by suffering. Healing means blotting out sin. There are many sins; it is a sin to doubt, to fear, to criticize. The unkind thought that we think, the unkind word that we speak of another, any darkness in our attitude, any doubt or fear is a falling short, a missing of the mark. As we free ourselves from this kind of thing, we are healed.
Let us consider for a moment the meaning of the expression in the Presbyterian Catechism. We sin, according to this version of wrong, when we do not conform to the law of God or when we transgress it. What is the law of God? We cannot answer this question too carefully. It is God’s rule of action. It is integrity. You and I can know the law of God, since it is love, integrity, and faith. We can all have a part in the carrying out of this law.
Since the law of God is love, you and I must be loving. We must think and act according to the law of love. We have an obligation—it is to cultivate within ourselves a deep, abiding, universal feeling of good will for all men; in other words, we should think the thought that embodies the love of god and man in it. Those who think in this way are right, true, and faithful; the reverse is untrue and is sin.
Integrity is the second element in the law of God. Go is true always in every relationship. Law is the expression of principle; it is God in action The natural scientists rely upon law. They have discovered the great law that is fundamental in universal expression. They know that law is true, hence they can trust it. Where should we practice integrity? First of all, within ourselves. Let us think the thought that is true in every relationship. Let us practice integrity toward God and our fellowmen. Jesus did this without ceasing.
The third element of the law of God is faith. We have the power to know the presence of God in every phase of our human experience. Let us be true to our knowledge and, through our knowing, true to the understanding of our fellowmen.
In a discussion of the subject of healing, we cannot get far from Jesus. Jesus healed; He did not cure. Why could he heal? Jesus healed because He know God; He knew man; He knew Himself. He was true to what He knew. He who would heal as Jesus did, can think no wrong thought. He must see that the one who thinks negatively reaps the result of his thinking in inharmonious experiences. He mu must see also that he cannot work with the experience of inharmony, but rather that he must work within. The experience isnever righted until there is an inner cleansing. Sin—falling short or missing the mark in some way—has brought about the condition.
What shall we do? Remember, do not attempt to work with the condition itself. Turn within. Forgive; substitute the right thought for the wrong—the faith thought. At the end of a hard day you and I are tempted to yield to fatigue; instead of thinking how tired we are, let us think of the strength of God who is our being. There is no weariness in infinite power. Human belief says that we are exhausted, that we are ill, that we are poor. Divine understanding assures us that we are infinitely strong, perfectly well, and abundantly supplied, that there is nothing but God and God in action.
Some who disapprove of the healing work bring this grave charge against it. They say that a man can drink excessively at night and find relief the next morning from the results of his beastliness. This is not true. True healing strikes at the cause of the sin and eradicates it. The man who is healed is the one who is inwardly cleansed. He is made whole.
Healing is knowing God to the exclusion of all unlike God. When the self is found in God—sin, fear, sickness go; in other words belief of separation falls away. Inharmony of body, of circumstances, of relationships, goes. In John 11:40 we find the words: “If thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God.” When we do, we are healed. Let us begin today to substitute the right thought for the wrong. The first thought that we think in a given situation is powerful; therefore let us learn to react positively and quickly always. When we feel the first hint of separation toward another, let us think a thought of love. The first thought about anything stays and continues to become more vivid. Let us learn to forgive quickly—that is, to substitute the right thought for the wrong. Better still, let us rise above the need of forgiveness and think true to principle as a habit. The substance of faith is love. It is easy to see the unity of love, integrity, and faith. Law is the practice of love and integrity and faith in every expression.
The law of God is the healing law, the unifying law. Let us not allow anything that is untrue to rest in the mentality. When we are in harmony in our thinking, we are cooperating with God-Law and letting the Christ Spirit express in fullness and beauty. Jesus healed because He did this. He knew God as the Father, and His fellowman as the child of God. He was not even so far away from God as to be thought of as a son; He knew His oneness with God. Have we grasped the full meaning of this word oneness? Jesus knew; He understood the word oneness. God was His authority in all things—in every phase of His life and works. He of Himself did nothing, but the Father in Him did the works. He lived in the consciousness of this unity with God.
Let us make a rule about the words we speak—that these shall be fitting words. Let us be witnesses that the Father is speaking through us. If we love gossip, scandal, and criticism, our words will speak of evil things. If we love life, spirit, truth, our words will bring healing, beauty, power, goodness. When we love universally, we cannot be hurt; we cannot be slighted; no one can make us angry. We are practicing integrity—in other words, we can always, under all circumstances, be relied upon for our highest and best.
Healing means coming to know God; knowing God is health; healing is knowing the self in God and of God and accepting nothing less than the God-Self. The man who lives true to divine principle is healed. Let us acknowledge only God and live by His presence and power; then shall we be conscious of the immediate presence of love and life, of beauty and goodness, and of the integrity which means dependability in every relationship. This is the meaning of true healing. It begins with the cleansing of our thinking and living, and it brings the realization of harmony, health, peace, and joy. Begin now.
We thank Thee, Father, that we share Thy nature, because we are Thy children. We thank Thee that Thou dost speak Thy word to us and dost share always Thy life with us. We rejoice that Thou dost demonstrate Thy power to us and through us. We will get our petty conceptions out of the way. We will get the little self out of the way and stand free in the light and beauty of the consciousness Thou are all in all.