When I was a kid, my friends and I played a lot of “Cowboys and Indians”, medieval knights (the movie “Ivanhoe” had recently been released!), and World War II soldiers. And if we got cut or bruised in the process, we felt it was a “badge of honor” because it caused us to identify with our movie and TV heroes who were often wounded while sacrificing for their comrades-in-arms against the foe.
But what if such a tendency is not seen through and grown out of?
The consequences of not overcoming this type of false identification are far too obvious. All you have to do is go to any public place and listen to the ongoing conversations among a wide variety of age groups in which individuals proudly proclaim their woes in great detail—vigorously and actively identifying with those problems. As if it gave meaning to their lives.
As if it were their badge of honor!
Yet such “badges” are but tarnished, mortal illusions that reinforce and continue the very illnesses and problems that have enslaved them.
And make no mistake; Christian Scientists are not inherently immune to this downward-spiraling phenomenon. I hear from too many who have identified with the physical, emotional, behavioral, or financial challenges they’re facing and who, while attempting to rely on Christian Science for healing, are often simultaneously busily defending their helplessness, confusion, and victimhood in the very same manner as the general public.
How can this be?
They have not consistently kept their watch and have fallen prey to one of the ruses of the carnal mind in which the person has been mesmerized into believing that the challenges they appear to be going through give them some feeling of nobility—some sense of honor—for having to endure the error that they find themselves engulfed in. A kind of “noble sacrifice.” A type of martyrdom.
None of which have anything to do with Christian Science.
None of which can ever lead to healing.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 380), Mary Baker Eddy wrote:
Contending for the evidence or indulging the demands of sin, disease, or death, we virtually contend against the control of Mind over body, and deny the power of Mind to heal. This false method is as though the defendant should argue for the plaintiff in favor of a decision which the defendant knows will be turned against himself.
So let’s remember that the real “badge of honor” is spiritual and is awarded moment-by-moment to each of us as we overcome the lies of mortal mind and scientifically demonstrate the truths of Christian Science by healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, casting out demons, and preaching the gospel.
By identifying ourselves and others as the image and likeness of Almighty God!